Watching the Tigers' arms

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Patrick Hayes makes a good point regarding the workloads of the Tigers’ pitchers:

[Justin Verlander, Edwin Jackson and Jarrod Washburn] are on pace to set career-highs in innings pitched and all three are pitching much longer into games than they did a season ago . . .  Jackson has never thrown 200 innings in a season (previous career-high was 181 last year) and is on pace to hit 210 this year. He’s been averaging 6.6 innings per start, up from 5.7 per appearance last season.

Verlander is throwing 6.6 innings per start as well, up slightly from his 6.1 last season. He’s on pace to throw 225 innings, up from his previous career-high of 201.

Something to watch out for, sure, and definitely the kind of thing that should inspire Jim Leyland to try and find a little rest for those guys somewhere down the stretch if at all possible.  This Tigers team reminds me a lot of the 2007 Indians, and you’ll recall that their failure to get past Boston may very well have been due to Sabathia and Carmona simply tiring out by the time the ALCS rolled around.

Still, we’re not talking crazy workloads, and those guys have been generally durable.  And as long as the White Sox lurk, it’s not like the Tigers have much of a choice but to throw them out there every fifth day. 

Must-Click Link: Remembering Eddie Grant the first major leaguer to die in combat

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As you get ready for Memorial Day weekend and whatever it entails for you and yours, take some time to read an excellent article from Mike Bates over at The Hardball Times.

The article is about Eddie Grant. You probably never heard of him. He was a journeyman infielder — often a backup — from 1905 through 1915. If you have heard of him, it was likely not for his baseball exploits, however: it was because he was the first active baseball player to die in combat, killed in the Battle of the Argonne Forest in October 1915.

Michael tells us about more than Grant’s death, however. He provides a great overview of his life and career. And notes that Grant didn’t even have to go to war if he didn’t want to. He was 34, had the chance to coach or manage and had a law degree and the potential to make a lot of money following his baseball career. He volunteered, however, for both patriotic and personal reasons. And it cost him his life.

Must-read stuff indeed. Especially this weekend.

The Indians are unveiling a Frank Robinson statue on Sunday

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The Cleveland Indians will unveil a Frank Robinson statue at Progressive Field on Saturday.

Robinson’s tenure in Cleveland was not long, but it was historic. On April 8, 1975, he became the first African-American manager in Major League history. He was a player-manager. One of the last ones, in fact. He spent two years in that role and then a third year — a partial year anyway — as a manager only. Robinson would go on to manage the Giants, Orioles and the Expos/Nationals, compiling a career record of 1065-1176 in 16 seasons. He is now a top MLB executive.

Robinson was, of course, a Hall of Fame player as well, lodging 21 seasons for the Reds, Orioles, Dodgers, Angels and Indians. He won two MVP awards and hit for the Triple Crown in 1966. Overall he hit 586 home runs – 10th all time – and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. For an inner-circle Hall of Famer with that kind of resume he is still, strangely enough, underrated. I guess that happens when your contemporaries are Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Mickey Mantle.

Anyway, congrats to Frank Robinson for yet another well-deserved honor in a career full of them.