Luke Waltons Forehead presented by the Sports Dude.

Thursday, November 18, 2004 at 10:08 AM

Tigers at it again!

Well, they moved quickly and wouldn't let the guy out of town. I wonder what was in that steak dinner? None the less, the deal is done and the bullpen, in little time at all, is extremely better! Now, the question is this - what to do with Urbina? I say nothing, why make a move? You now have two guys that can close, which is security and smart if you ask me. You saw what happened last year when we had none - what was the total, 20 blown saves or something after Urbina left? By having two guys, you basically have a nice security blanket to fall back on. If one goes down, the other can step in. If one has been doing a lot of save work, throw the other in for a quick save here and there. Urbina also has worked as a set up man before in the past, so who is to say it won't be a good move now? If you keep Urbina, it is my opinion, that the bullpen work is done. You have your closer, you have your set up man ( and spare closer mixed in one ), you have your dominant left handed situational guy in Jamie Walker, and some guys for long relief coming back next year from injuries ( Chris Spurling most noticeably ). Plus, one of those starters - I would pick Wilfredo Lidezma, is going to get left out of the rotation most likely, because the Tigers need to get a "big gun" for that rotation, a number one guy - can I hear a Carl Pavano please? Remember, he has been quoted as saying he loved having Pudge behind the plate in Florida, hopefully that and a fat contract will be enough. Shoot, even Derek Lowe would be alright, he still has some miles left on the engine - but I prefer Pavano because he is younger and just coming into his prime, where Lowe, he has already hit it!

Anyway, I got off track about the bullpen, sorry! The point of all that was to say that the bullpen is pretty sharp now, especially considering that one of those starters has got to go somewhere. That is why I said Ledezma as a long reliever and situational starter, here is my point:

1 - Pavano or Lowe.
2 - Maroth.
3- Bonderman.
4 - Robertson.
5 - Johnson.

That is a solid rotation, and then you have two guys in the bullpen that can pitch long relief and be a spare starter - Gary Knotts the righty and Ledezma the lefty. You got your right and left set up guys, you got your closer, you have some other guys that are coming back from injuries, your bullpen is square and done.

So, with that being said, you dump the money into two places:

1 - the starter.
2 - one big bat in the line up.

The big bat appears to be coming, and it looks like a third baseman if you ask me. That will be fine and makes sense, because it fits our needs. That allows Brandon Inge to be a super sub and still play just about every damn day anyway! He will be the primary back up for Pudge, which means we only really need one "true" catcher on our roster, leaving extra space for another bat. We can even plug him in in center field duties, he did fine there last year! Plus, if Percival persuades his old Angel battery mate Troy Glaus to come to Detroit, he isn't exactly a spring chicken anymore! Inge is free to give relief to the guy at third when Glaus needs a break from the field. Point is, Inge will still play, and his versatility is great to the team because it allows them extra roster flexibility, during the season and off season as well!

If the Tigers do only those two other things all off season, a BIG GUN starter and another bat, then I say you are set and ready to go! Save the money for next year and ride the guys you have into the playoffs! The Tigers will make the playoffs if they make those moves, I guarantee it!

Well, I am off to call Dave Dombroski so I can tell him what I think, until then, when we will finally talk U of M versus OSU, the sports dude!

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