Chad Durbin, sacrificial ram


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.

5 responses to “Chad Durbin, sacrificial ram

  1. I’m not looking forward to the rematch tonight. Not even a little bit, and I’ve got tickets to it!
    I hope the Tigers continue their unwillingness to take walks tonight, because Jaret Wright couldn’t find the strike zone if he was trying to set the ball on a batting tee.

  2. Think of it this way:
    The Twins #5 starter is Sidney Ponson.
    The Royals #5 starter is Brandon Duckworth.
    The White Sox #5 starter is John Danks.
    The Indians #5 starter is Fausto Carmona.

  3. Mike, live baseball is almost always good baseball, even when it’s losing live baseball. Even losing live baseball when you’re forced to look at Jaret Wright for a good portion of the game… (personally I ‘enjoy’ watching him pitch because that giant plug he chews always makes him look like he’s storing a land snail in his cheek, and this cracks me right up)
    JW, Carmona and Danks are just babies, even if they’re not so hot now they certainly can be soon enough. The Tigers just got the snot beat out of ’em by Duckworth, so I guess we can’t really talk re: him right now. I do feel good about Ponson, though. It is a constant comfort to me that I do not, in fact, have to look at him on a regular basis.

  4. Just wanted to send my condolences…Neifi at 3rd?!?!? I might just turn of the TV now.

  5. […] Durbin is supposed to be the throwaway pitcher right now. He is SUPPOSED to be the sacrificial sheeplike being. What on earth did he do to deserve this reprieve? It is puzzling and a bit infuriating. […]

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