First, on Brandon Jennings. I feel the same now as in my rant of despondency last night on ‘It’s Just Sports.’
Now, as for the Iglesias deal.
Is he a fantastic defender? From all accounts, yes.
Was the baseball world in awe Iglesias was hitting .415 to begin July? Very much so.
We’ve all wondered how much better the Detroit Tigers pitching staff would be with a better defense behind them. Once Delmon was taken off the field, LF immediately improved. Infante’s had a fine season at second, after some yips late in ’12, and Hunter isn’t what he once was, but he’s help improve things.
Iglesias could, or should(!), be so good defensively, to make up for his shortcomings I’ll explain in a moment, that Miguel Cabrera should be able to sit in a lawn chair at 3B because Iglesias can cover so much ground. I hope.
I’ll concede, it’s going to be exciting watching Iglesias play short for the Tigers for the foreseeable future. Maybe he can take some of the defensive spotlight away from the Braves Andrelton Simmons, who has reminded me of Rey Ordonez (a guy who reminded many of Ozzie Smith) with his range and athleticism.
Like Simmons (.659 OPS in ’13), Iglesias CAN’T HIT. Pretty much at all. The 23 year old had a .622 OPS in 1209 plate appearances in the minors. If he cracks .700 at the Major League level for a season, he deserves a Silver Slugger award and will likely be a PED suspect. Kidding, kind’ve.
At least he can defend!
Well, what about his speed…he can bring some excitement to the Tigers’ basepaths right?! Granted, Hernan Perez has twice the plate appearances that Iglesias has in the minors, but it’s Perez 87 steals, to Iglesias’ 37. In 317 PA for Boston, Iglesias has 4 steals. Look, I know stealing bases depends on a variety of uncotnrollable factors, but if he was that speedy and that adept at stealing bases, regardless of counts and placement in lineup, Iglesias would’ve stolen more bags. As they say though…
You can’t steal first.
If this was about defense, why not keep going with Perez, or even the older Argenis Diaz. Speed and defense are definitely more important to an MLB team than they’ve been since before the PED era, though those traits should ALWAYS be cheap to procure. Not at the cost of one of your organization’s upper tier prospects.
For what he’s to be, I like Iglesias, I’m in despair having had to give up Avisail Garcia for him. I expected Garcia to be an above average outfielder, with a plus arm, and somewhere in the range of .275 with 20 HRs, 75+ RBIS and double digit steals. He could mimic the numbers of the guy in Chicago he’s probably going to replace, Alex Rios.
I will miss Avisail Garcia. Good luck!
What frightens me in the short term is the Tigers offense. Or lack of it. Fully healthy and firing I’ve got no fears, but…
We have no idea when Infante will be back.
The end of the Tigers lineup will be Avila/who ever is at 2B (Santiago, Perez)/Iglesias. Add in subpar years for Austin Jackson and Prince Fielder, and for now you’ve got a banged up Cabrera.
Based on that, I’d say the Indians have had themselves quite a deadline and should be quite pleased with their chances to run with the Tigers longer than we expected.
Other things to watch for…
ESPN’s Jim Bowden’s been pleading for Castellanos to come up. Though he’s tumbled back down to .278 after sitting around .300 for a bit.
Would he be a better alternative in LF than Andy Dirks. I’ve got no qualm there, but Castellanos’ potential contributions against LHPs may be no better than what Matt Tuiasosopo has surprisingly provided this year.
The Tigers got murdered in the WS last year by the playoff emergences of Brandon Crawford and Marco Scutaro. All the little things those two did were irritants that help properl the Giants to another World Series. It’s possible, with a hopefully healthy Infante, and now Iglesias, the Tigers can play more NL style ball when needed. You know I love me some bunts. If you think they’re always a sure waste of outs, I refer you to the season ending circus the Phillies showcased at Comerica on Sunday.
If the Tigers patch themselves up, Iglesias’ repeated easy outs won’t be a troublesome issue, but in the near term, I think the Tigers have some warts that are going to make it an interesting and tense AL Central race as we navigate the final third of the MLB season.