Seroka’s Extra Bases: Detroit Tigers Should Sign Nelson Cruz
In 2000 when Comerica Park officially opened the Detroit Tigers built one of the largest Stadiums in Major League Baseball and then they built their team around hitting Home Runs.
After a couple of years and Juan Gonzalez telling them the Stadium was too big they brought in the fences and still had one of the biggest Stadiums in Major League Baseball and still they built their team around the Home Run.
Dave Dombrowski has finally decided to build a team suited to the Stadium they built 14 years ago, that being said you still need some power in your lineup. Batman needs a Robin, and Nelson Cruz can be Robin to Miguel Cabrera’s Batman.
The offense as constructed has too many questions and not enough answers.Too many questions for them not to take a chance on Nelson Cruz. As good a hitter as Victor Martinez is, they traded away the only other consistent Home Run threat in Prince Fielder. This would not be as big a concern if they had gotten players who could hit close to .300 with high on base percentages. Instead all they replaced Fielder with was questions.
Ian Kinsler, Rajai Davis, and Jose Iglesias all are huge question marks. Kinsler is on the downside of his career, Davis is a platoon player and Iglesias may not be able to repeat the offensive numbers in his rookie season.
Everyone is saying small ball that will get it done, that is fine but small ball only works if the players get on base. Speed kills but not if its is sitting on the bench next to Brad Ausmus.
As the Detroit Tigers found out in the 2011 playoffs Nelson Cruz can be a game changer. Nelson Cruz, if it works out, could also be the replacement for Tori Hunter after his contract expires. I believe bringing Cruz to Detroit would make the Tigers favorites in the American League Central Division again.
Without this move, Cabrera could get the Barry Bonds treatment when he was walked 177, 198, 148, and 232 times between 2001 till 2004. That was 755 at bats taken away from Barry Bonds in 4 years that is effectively neutralized the best hitter in the game at the time. Without bringing Nelson Cruz to Detroit it could be a long year in Detroit and another Division title will be a longhot.