If Tiger fans thought their pennant hopes were fading Saturday morning, they surely didn't want to tune in to the game Saturday evening. Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Guillen followed Brandon Inge to the disabled list.
An already flawed team is now fatally wounded due to injuries to three former All-Stars. With massive holes at catcher, shortstop, and to a lesser extent in the starting rotation, the season was effectively ended on Saturday night.
It was amazing that the Tigers lasted as long as they have in the pennant race. The team has sent four different starting pitchers down to the minors, traded one who was released by a bad Arizona team, and have gotten very uneven contributions from one other (Bonderman). The only starter who has had a consistent year is Verlander.
With a shortstop and catching position that add nothing offensively (.185 batting average, three homers and 15 RBI for Laird, and an approximate .270 batting average from shortstop with no power), and three other injured starters, the Tigers just have too many holes to fill.
On the positive side, this Ordonez injury will almost certainly stop him from vesting his $15 million option for next season. He could be resigned for as low as $6 million. The Tigers will drop over $55 million in salary for complementary players, even with Verlander's raise and resigning Inge and Magglio.
Also, this should stop the useless thoughts of being buyers at the trade deadline. Emptying out the farm system when you have five positional needs and a starting pitching hole is the height of stupidity.
The Tigers also have a lot of young talent, including Brennan Boesch, Austin Jackson, Alex Avila, and Max Schezer among other in the minors. With the money coming off the Tigers payroll, the young talent they've assembled, and an owner willing to spend, the future is indeed bright for the Tigers.
This season, however, is done. It was a valiant effort, but thanks for playing Detroit, and better luck next year.
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