Sunday, August 19, 2012
Tigers Trade For Sanchez Among Dombrowski's Worst
By Sean Gagnier
Starting pitching was supposed to be the savior of this ball club; yes, Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera can rip the cover off the ball, but when's the last time you heard "two big hitters beat good pitching"? Fielder and Cabrera have done just that several times this season, but when it comes down to it, good, solid starting pitching is the backbone of any successful club, and this club doesn't have that.
Of the Tigers five starters only one has an ERA under 3.20, that is Justin Verlander and his ERA is 2.53. A far cry from his Cy Young numbers of last season. Detroit's WHIP numbers aren't much better, each pitcher has a 1.0+ WHIP. Verlander once again setting the pace with a 1.01 with Doug Fister, Max Scherzer, Rick Porcello and Anibal Sanchez trailing in that order.
All hasn't been bad for general manager Dave Dombrowski, but his moves this season haven't clicked the same way they did last year. When Dombrowski pulled the trigger on a deal that sent two of Detroit's top prospects to Miami for a veteran starter and a second baseman, things looked good. Sanchez had a no-hitter under his belt and was receiving very little run support in Miami, reminiscent of Fister, but since he has been in Detroit his ERA is 7.97 and he sports a WHIP of 2.11. Those numbers are numbers that should be coming from a spot starter up from Double-A.
Omar Infante has stepped up and fit perfectly into the Tigers roster, giving them exactly what they needed in every aspect. With Infante, Detroit now has an every day second baseman who can actually field the position and they know what they will get from him at the plate, and that is hit around .300.
While Infante is a nice get, he was a throw in piece in the trade, meaning that Dombrowski is on the hook for how Sanchez performs more so than Infante. And from the looks of it, Dombrowski blew yet another trade for the Tigers. He traded away the Tigers top pitching prospect, a guy who will be a No. 1 starter, and a top catching prospect.
Rob Brantly, the catcher, was a bit of a trade chip to begin with. With Alex Avila having solidified himself as the starter behind the plate there is a battle for the back-up role, Gerald Laird currently fills that spot but Brantly had his eyes set on that job. But they still have James McCann to step in and fill that role.
Turner is the biggest loss and when Sanchez's time with the Tigers comes to a merciful end and he signs with another team, this trade will become one of the worst Dombrowski has ever inked. He traded two top prospects for a second baseman, that he previously traded in an equally terrible deal, and the king-of-all-dud's pitcher.
When the Tigers miss the postseason, it's on Dombrowski, but good thing he got that contract extension, because Detroit is definitely a better team with him pulling the reins. Note the sarcasm.