photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein
Of course I probably would have said something similar about Zach Miner when he first popped onto the roster last year, but I reckon poor Chad Durbin is just getting thrown to the wolves for a bit so that we can groom the real Next Big Tigers Pitching Prospect… that being, of course, Andrew Miller.
Durbin gave up six runs to the mighty Oriole bats (I almost, ALMOST managed to type that with a straight face… sorry Mike) in 4.2 innings. Ennnh. Not good, but not really all that unexpected. I mean, the poor guy hadn’t pitched in the Majors since 2004, which tells you something right there. It is 2007 now. That is 3 seasons. That is… well, I don’t want to be too hard on him, so we’ll just leave it at that.
Andrew Miller right now is what Justin Verlander used to be: the hot prospect that the organization wants to be somewhat tentative with, but for whom we will soon be hearing clamorous cries from the fans. Verlander came up (a little too early in my well-documented opinion, but what do I know? nothing, clearly) and pitched like a big doofy dream. Will Miller do the same? He too is awkwardly tall and thin, and he too seems to have a preternaturally serene take on big league bats.
I do think he’ll be up this year, especially if Kenny takes his sweet time recovering from his blood clot… which he should do. I wouldn’t mind seeing Ledezma for a bit, but to be honest I’m starting to give up on Ledezma just a little. He simply hasn’t showed consistency or any particular mental fortitude yet, and I think he should have by now. I still very much want him to get some innings and for that time to be exactly what he needs to finally put it together and come into his own, but I’m less sure now than ever before that he’s capable of doing this. Barring an unexpected skill up-bump from Ledezma, he too would only be another stopgap measure on the road to Andrew Miller.
And in the meantime, we offer Chad Durbin up on the bloody altar of the pitching mound, where his throat is bared to the knives of such beastly batters as Jay “People used to call me ugly and then they saw Chris Shelton” Gibbons and Kevin “I miss Manny because without him I have no sufficient outlet for my not-very-secret cuddling desire” Millar.
Offensively, we were blah again. I am not worrying. I am not worrying. I am not worrying. I am waiting for the bats to get on track, as I am so very certain that they will. I… totally… believe… this.
(It may be helpful for you to imagine me typing that with my teeth gritted and eyes valiantly squinted.)
Curtis Granderson continues to do Good Things That Make Us Love Curtis Granderson, and it was nice to see Maggs’ bat going, especially in the face of his recent defensive issues (which I still think are mostly due to the cold). We were pretty well smothered by Daniel Cabrera, though. All credit to him and his absurdly enormous self…. but the offense has been doing this against everyone of late. We’ll snap out of it. Totally will. Absolute confidence. Just a matter of waiting them out.
Don’t even get me started on Brandon Inge right now. He is… taking his sweet time. And that’s OK. I fully expect him to go on some kind of ridiculous hitting tear in July that will singlehandedly (singlebattedly?) boost us to the top of the division and reduce the Wrong Sox to a collective blubbering mass of tears. His slow start at the plate is just his way of revving up for this near-future magical production. Just you wait and see.