The Detroit Lions hopes hang on the back of Matthew Stafford

It does not take someone good at math to figure out the Detroit Lions. Quarterback Matthew Stafford missed the last eight games of last season with a broken back. The Detroit Lions lost all eight games. Now Stafford is healthy again and by all accounts looks very good in training camp.

Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has looked crisp thus far in the Detroit Lions 2020 training camp. In fact one practice Stafford did not throw one incomplete pass. Detroit area media members, teammates and the Lions coaching staff have all taken notice to how good the longtime starting quarterback has looked.

“Man, he’s been awesome, He’s dialed in, locked into the coaching, the teaching, practice, meetings, his leadership has been outstanding. I think he’s fired up every day out there, he’s competing really hard and wants everything to be perfect, and you love the drive of everything that he does right now.” Detroit head coach Matt Matt Patricia said.

As for the broken back that sidelined Stafford last season, that has healed. He is good to go for the opener against the Chicago Bears in just 15 days. The Detroit Lions have plenty of offensive weapons for Stafford and that unit can be down right scary to face.

Many experts expect the Lions offense to be one of the tops in the NFL this season. The way Stafford has looked so far has risen the offensive expectations.

The only question is can Stafford stay healthy and on the field? If so the Detroit Lions are very capable of being a very good team. If he is injured it could go downhill in a hurry much like last season.

So the offensive line, tight ends and blocking backs must do everything to keep Stafford on his feet and healthy. The Lions could be a team that makes a leap if the franchise quarterback stays on the field the entire season.

The Detroit Red Wings could be in position to be buyers

Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman has never had a problem working the phone when it comes to upgrading the teams he has been in charge of. The Red Wings with $43 million in cap space available and the NHL salary cap expected to stay at $81.5 million Yzerman could look to make a deal or two.

With only Tyler Bertuzzi and Anthony Mantha needing new deals, the Detroit Red Wings will have enough money to sign a player or two to help begin to bring the Red Wings play back to a more respectable level.

NHL teams such as the Washington Capitols, Pittsburgh Penguins, St. Louis Blues who were beaten in the NHL playoffs and some others could look to to moves players in an attempt to shake up current rosters.

There is little doubt as Yzerman and the rest of the Red Wings organization waits for prospects to develop, he will be looking to upgrade the roster to help the continued growth of Dylan Larkin, Matha, Bertuzzi and Filip Hronek and a couple of others.

Bringing in savvy veterans be it by trade or free agent signings, will go a long way to help the Detroit Red Wings rebuild. Yzerman, has typically been able to get players to sign for reasonable deals in both term and length. That said it is possible the Detroit GM looks for a player who will be around longer than one to two years.

While the Red Wings rebuild presses on, steps need to be taken to ensure it is done properly. Steve Yzerman understands this and will make his off season to-do list with the intention of being smart with the cap space while improving the roster with an eye on the future. Even if that is to sign a player for three or four years.

This is a big off season for the Detroit Red Wings. It is time to begin to add a player or two, perhaps more to keep the Red Wings moving forward. It will be interesting to see how it unfolds.

Two prospects help the Detroit Tigers win the series against the Cleveland Indians

Sunday against the Cleveland Indians the Detroit Tigers watched two of the organizations top prospects pave the way for a series win. Left-handed starting pitcher Tarik Skubal and third baseman Isaac Paredes. Giving a look at what is to come for Tigers baseball.

Sunday’s game started much the way Tarik Skubal’s first start, started. A home run. This time however Skubal did not buckle or get held up in the home run. Instead, Skubal dug in and showed flashes of why he was such a fast riser in the Detroit Tigers minor league system.

In 2 1/3 innings pitched (due to a pitch count) Skubal showed his competitiveness. Striking out five Indians batters four of which wiffed on Skubal’s elusive fastball. Skubal only allowed three hits and one walk. Showing better control this time out.

Tarik Skubal looked confident as he mixed his pitch’s much better in his second major league start.

On the flip side, Detroit Tigers prospect Isaac Paredes has shown to be getting more and more relaxed and confident the more at-bats he has. Friday night at Progressive Field facing the Cleveland Indians not only did the young Paredes hit his first major league home run, the home run happened to be a grand slam.

Sunday, Paredes continued his progression. Paredes had two left field singles and a double to deep left field in a 3 for 4 afternoon. This is a surprise to no one inside the Tigers organization. Paredes has been touted as a solid contact hitter with some pop in his bat.

As Tigers fans watch some of the clubs top prospects take their first major league steps, they can not help but be encouraged by what they have seen. With no Matt Manning as of yet, both Tarik Skubal and Casey Mize have shown well.

While Isaac Paredes has Detroit  fans dreaming of a time when he and Tigers prospects Spencer Torkelson and Riley Greene make up the middle of the batting order.

The series win was sweet for the Detroit Tigers and the Tigers fan base. Because prospects led the charge.

The Detroit Pistons are going to begin to look different

The rebuild bug has hit another professional Detroit team. This time the Detroit Pistons have entered a rebuild. The organization could go part rebuild or all in. One thing is for certain, it will help the on court product in the long term, but as seen with the Lions, Red Wings and Tigers will pinch in the short term.

When building a roster that can compete, there needs to be at least one player to build around. For the Detroit Pistons when healthy Blake Griffin is and can be that player.

If the Pistons do go all in on the rebuild then they could part ways with Griffin who is sure to decline in production in the next two seasons. Detroit could trade him while he still has value and get a player or a draft pick.

One thing has become clear, in my opinion the Detroit Pistons should focus on a youth movement. Even if the keep Blake Griffin and gradually phase him out. Langston Galloway, Markieff Morris and Tony Snow are veterans with one year left on their current contracts. All could and should be moved for any assets the Pistons can get.

Christian Wood, Bruce Brown, Luke Kennard and Svi Mykhailiuk and Sekou Dumbouya along with the Pistons draft pick in this years 2020 NBA draft (No. 7 overall) will be the core new Pistons general manager Troy Weaver has to build around.

The Detroit Pistons have had problems signing big name free agents due in part to mediocre on court play. The best rout for the Pistons to go is build a team that attracts free agents, which will take time.

Rebuilds are not fun. There is no sugar coating that fact. The Lions know it. The Red Wings know it. The Lions know it. The fans of Detroit sports know it. But in time it is rewarding when the team begins to resemble a solid group and the wins begin to come in.

The Detroit Tigers lost again, but pitcher Casey Mize shows promise

Casey Mize had a nice first day on the job. In his major league debut Mize pitched 4.1 innings striking out seven Chicago White Sox hitters while not issuing a single walk. Not bad at all for the Detroit Tigers No. 2 ranked prospect.

As Mize was advertised on the mound he did make a costly mistake. One that Mize brought up after the game. The Detroit Tigers took the lead and Mize gave the lead back to Chicago. Such is the life of a rookie pitcher.

In the 119 years of Detroit Tigers baseball no Detroit pitcher has ever had a debut of seven strikeouts and no walks. Not Hal Newhouse, Denny McLain, Mickey Lolich, Mark Fydrich or even Justin Verlander and Jack Morris, all of whom are Tigers pitching legends.

Despite a few misses, Mize showed good command of the strike zone. Painting the corners, giving up a second inning home run can unglue young pitchers in a hurry. Mize gave up a second inning home run to the White Sox Edwin Encarnacion, the young pitcher seemed to dig in and make some adjustments.

For the Detroit Tigers and the fans base, Casey Mize’s may have had the most highly anticipated Tigers debut since 2005 when Justin Verlander first took the mound in the Motor City.

Casey Mize had a great poker face during his debut, his confidence was on display, but he also showed focus and refocus. Mize displays four plus pitches that gives him the upper hand and will surely show its self as he continues to pitch and gets into a five day routine.

While the Tigers lost as a team, one of the organizations top prospects took the mound for the first in what looks to be a long time to come. Casey Mize was very solid in his debut.

He should be fun to watch the rest of the season.

Detroit Tigers No. 2 prospect Casey Mize to pitch tonight, Tarik Skubal’s rude awakening

Casey Mize was drafted first overall in the 2018 MLB draft. Having shot through the Detroit Tigers minor league system it is time for Mize to make his major league debut tonight as the Tigers take on the Chicago White Sox.

From the day he was drafted Detroit Tigers pitcher Casey Mize became the face of the Tigers rebuild. Pressure? Sure anytime a player is tabbed as “the next great thing,” there is pressure. Do no tell Casey Mize, he is not listening.

Mize has put in his work in the Tigers farm system. Last season in his Double-A (Erie Seawolves) debut, Mize went out and tossed a no-hitter. Mize is always tinkering with his pitch’s. One pitch he does not work on is his split-finger-fastball. Which is Mize’s “out pitch.”

Casey Mize is not wide-eyed heading into his first MLB start. Having been groomed for this type of spotlight since his college days at Auburn, Mize pitched in the tough SEC.

Mize’s pitching counter part and fellow Detroit top prospect Tarik Skubal, faced the White Sox last night and did not have a fairy tale start. Skubal who has not pitched against Double-A and has just  two years of pro ball experience was given a baptism by fire.

Skubal clearly feeling the nerves pitched outside of his norm. Nerves will do that to even the great pitchers in the game. After the game Tarik Skubal said he knew what he did wrong and vowed to work on those thing in between start.

Both Casey Mize and Tarik Skubal have the stuff and mental makeup to quickly move past a bad start. They project as long term pitchers for the Detroit Tigers for the foreseeable future.

There will be growing pains. Not just for Casey Mize, Tarik Skubal and Isaac Paredes. But also for the other top Tigers prospects as they approach the major leagues right up to the time they are wearing the Old English D.

Each prospect will have good days and not so good days until they find the consistency needed to play day in and day out.

Detroit Tigers “Patient hitter, great hitter, great bat-to-ball skills,” possessing Isaac Paredes collects first big league hit

Isaac Paredes hits. Last season while playing for Double-A Erie, Paredes numbers were solid. The young Paredes (21 years old)  hit .282 with 13 home runs and 66 RBIs. While his time in the minor leagues show Paredes’s numbers a bit better, with 424 career minor league games played, Paredes hit  93 doubles, six triples, 40 homers and 232 RBIs with a .274 average.

Last night in Chicago against the White Sox, Isaac Paredes gave a look into the future, one past his call-up time (more on that in a minute.) Paredes found his name in the batting order at No. 8. Few believe this is where he will stay. Hitters like Paredes move up the order quickly.

Paredes has advanced plate discipline, That discipline helped him climb up the Detroit Tigers minor league system. Pitching for Chicago was 13 year veteran  Gio Gonzaez, Gonzaez would get the young Paredes out in his first major league at-bat.

The second time through was a different story. Paredes, hit a high fastball on the outside corner for a single and driving in two runners. Issac Paredes said through his translator that he was “pretty nervous” during his first at bat.

Paredes, regained focus and came through with the bases loaded. This has been the Issac Paredes story. The guy just hits. For average. For power. Paredes has always been viewed as a building block for the Detroit Tigers.

Slow starts do not phase the young talented hitter. During his minor league playing time Paredes would have a slow first month and then catch fire. Good hitters do that.

It would not be surprising if the Detroit Tigers do not option Paredes back to the minor leagues. Even with the COVID-19 shutdown, Issac Paredes was rumored to be one of the players the Tigers were going to call up at some point this season. That did not change.

What may is Paredes might just stick and stay in Detroit. Speaking of which with the organization having called up three top prospects, the team hinted that the rebuild is nearing it’s end.

The Detroit Tigers give fans reason to cheer with the call up of top pitching prospects and one top bat

WEST PALM BEACH, FL – MARCH 09: Pitcher Tarik Skubal #87 of the Detroit Tigers delivers a pitch against the Houston Astros during the first inning of a spring training baseball game at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches on March 9, 2020 in West Palm Beach, Florida. The Astros defeated the Tigers 2-1. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Detroit Tigers general manager Al Avila announced Monday that top pitching prospects right-hander Casey Mize and left-hander Tarik Skubal are going to make their Major League Baseball debut this week. This is the moment Detroit Tiger fans have been waiting for.

Tarik Skubal, will take the mound Tuesday against the Chicago White Sox. Casey Mize the organizations No. 2 ranked prospect will take the mound Wednesday against the White Sox, both games are in Chicago.

In a Zoom meeting Monday, Avila said “It’s the proper time, It’s performance based from here on out. As I said before, when we brought these guys up, we want them here to stay. We’ll see how it turns out.”

More good news for the Detroit rebuild and one that the front office is now hinting may be coming to an end soon is the team also announced that Isaac Paredes, the No.6 prospect in the organization would be joining the team in Chicago.

The anticipation of top prospects has been building for about two years when the Detroit Tigers selected Casey Mize the first overall draft pick in 2018. Mize then became the face of Detroit’s rebuild. His performance in the minor leagues was on point. It was known when he was selected he was not long for the minor leagues.

After skyrocketing up the Tigers prospect list, Tarik Skubal had a setback before summer camp when he was diagnosed with COVID-19. Avila said Skubal has done nothing but impress in his time in Toledo.

The exact role Isaac Paredes will have on the team is unknown at this time. He could start in the field or be an extra bat. But it is time for the young slugger to have a taste of Big League action to help his development.

With the news breaking, Detroit Tiger fans are happy, they long for winning baseball again at Comerica Park. That team as time will tell is beginning to it’s steps to the Major Leagues.

 

 

Detroit Tigers draft picks Spencer Torkelson and Dillon Dingler showing progress

Embed from Getty Images The Detroit Tigers top two draft picks Spencer Torkelson and Dillon Dingler who are both in Toledo, working out and taking part in simulated games are showing progress in their development. This comes on the heals of the fact neither Torkelson or Dingler stood out in summer camp at Comerica Park.

In an odd year for every sport, baseball was no different. Spencer Torkelson and Dillon Dingler were both waiting for the draft during the COVID-19 mandatory shutdown.

They went from working out, however much they were able to do, to being drafted by the Detroit Tigers to summer camp to facing 90 plus MPH pitches from Major League Baseball starting pitchers. Some would argue that was a bit unfair. There could be some truth in that. But as some say it is what it is.

Dave Littlefield, Tigers vice president of player development, said Torkelson and Dingler have both shown progress in Toledo. Littlefield went on to say both players bats are coming alive the more pitchers they face.

Dingler hit a home run to right field the other day and Torkelson has been swinging the bat better and better the last few days. All signs are very positive for the Detroit Tigers rebuild efforts.

Spencer Torkelson continues to work at third base with Detroit Tigers legend  and MLB Hall of Fame member Alan Trammell. Dave Littlefield said Torkelson is making some nice plays at third base. His glove work and foot work are said to have improved since the end of summer camp.

Make no mistake about it, two players will not make or break the Detroit Tigers rebuild. However, being the top two picks for Detroit this year, the expectation is that Torkelson and Dingler will be the one’s to push the rebuild forward. There are other players as well.

When a player has the scouting report the Tigers top two 2020 draft picks have anything less than progress could be taken as a red flag. That is not the case. It is highly doubtful either Torkelson or Dingler will see major league action this summer. That is just fine. Development is much more important at the present time.

 

Jordan Zimmermann may have thrown his last pitch for the Detroit Tigers

Embed from Getty Images Free agency is a gamble. The Detroit Tigers have signed players who have elevated their own play as well as the play of the team. Unfortunately that has not been the case with pitcher Jordan Zimmermann.

The Detroit Tigers have placed veteran right handed pitcher Jordan Zimmermann on the 45 day injured list with a right forearm strain. Prior to the 2016 season, the Tigers signed Zimmermann to a five year $110 million dollar contract. Zimmermann looked dominant first month in Detroit. Then it started to fall apart.

Last season Jordan Zimmermann went 1-13 with a 6.91 ERA. The MLB season is 60 games this year due to COVID-19. Zimmermann hopes to return by the end of the 2020 season.

By placing the oft injured pitcher on the 45 day DL and not the 10, (it is said Zimmermann preferred), the Detroit Tigers opened a spot for one of their non roster invitees. This seasons 45 day DL is equivalent to last year’ s 60 day DL.

While it has not worked out for Jordan Zimmermann on the field and his contract looks really bad, there is a silver lining in all of this. Zimmermann has worked and helped other Detroit Tigers pitchers. Michael Fulmer, Matthew Boyd and Daniel Norris to name a few have benefited from Zimmermann’s help and mentorship.

Sometimes free agency works well and when it does not, it sticks out. You can not solely blame Jordan Zimmermann for the unraveling that took place while he has been in Detroit. He simply took the money the Tigers offered.

Jordan Zimmermann was one of the game’s top starting pitchers when he signed a deal with the Detroit Tigers. There is no going back only a look ahead. For both Zimmermann and the Tigers organization. As it seems likely Zimmerman has thrown his last pitch in Detroit.