Tigers fans should calm down about the Granderson rumors

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So says Detroit Free Press columnist Michael Rosenberg, who reminds us that Tigers owner Mike Ilitch is an emotional guy:

Ilitch surely is furious now, and for good reason. He gave Dombrowski one of the biggest payroll advantages in baseball — the Tigers had the fifth-highest payroll in the league — and they could not even win a weak division.

Ilitch might stay mad and demand that Dombrowski cut payroll. But he also might calm down. And if it comes time to actually trade a prime player, especially a popular one, Ilitch’s emotions might swing in the other direction, and he might decide he can’t accept losing one of his stars.

I can’t help but think that all of these stories about the Tigers allegedly imminent fire sale are borne of one overheard temper tantrum by Ilitch.  In light of the team’s ugly late season collapse, I’d have one too if I were him.

But like Rosenberg says, Ilitch is no idiot, and more to the point, he’s no cheapskate.  He’s worth over a billion bucks. His wife Marian owns the closest thing to a license to print money for cryin’ out loud.  They can cover the money guys like Curtis Granderson and Miguel Cabrera are owed, and they have shown time and time again with the Red Wings and more recently the Tigers that they’re willing to spend money on their sports teams.

Upshot: I’d be shocked if Curtis Granderson is traded this offseason.

Alex Wood to try pitching out of the stretch

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Pedro Moura of The Athletic reports that Dodgers starter Alex Wood plans to pitch out of the stretch throughout the 2018 season. Wood got the idea when he watched Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg pitch against the Dodgers.

Wood, 27, finished last season 16-3 with a 2.72 ERA and a 151/38 K/BB ratio in 152 1/3 innings. That’s a mighty fine season, one in which many pitchers would not dare to mess with something that isn’t broken.

Interestingly, Wood indeed has had better results with runners on base — when he would pitch out of the stretch — as opposed to the bases being empty, with a respective OPS allowed of .523 versus .684, respectively. Over his career, he has allowed a .617 OPS with runners on and .706 with the bases empty.

In response to Moura’s tweet about Wood, retired pitchers Dan Haren and Jered Weaver took the opportunity to burn themselves. Haren tweeted, “I pitched a few seasons completely out of the stretch actually, just not by choice.” Weaver responded, “Sometimes I would just step off and throw the ball in the gap myself because I knew the hitter would do it anyways.”