Friday, July 31, 2009

Washburn Trade Nice, But May Not Be Enough

The Tigers figured that if they can't hit, then they'd pitch as well as they can.

It still might not be enough.

The Tigers' trade deadline day acquisition of veteran lefty Jarrod Washburn from Seattle should be more exciting than it is right now.

But what's the difference, really, if the Tigers don't score for Luke French or if they don't score for Washburn?

Well, at least the Tigers will be wasting the efforts of a better brand of pitcher, anyway.

Forgive my cynicism, because Washburn is a heck of a pick-up, or at least should be. The Tigers, by surrendering French and prospect Mauricio Robles, certainly didn't get rooked in the deal, even with Washburn being free agent-eligible after this season.

And, there's another veteran in the rotation, invaluable during tension-filled games in September.

Let's bottom line it: who do you feel more comfortable with in the rotation---Washburn or the rookie French?

No, there's really no debate about whether the Tigers made themselves a solid deal today. They did. But did they do enough?

There could still be some help on the way for the offense, by way of trades that occur after players clear waivers. It's not as easy to do, but it can be done. This still might not be the same offense come mid-August or early-September.

It better not be, by hook or by crook.

The Tigers remain, among the three-headed monster of contenders in the AL Central (along with the White Sox and the Twins), the club with the most inept offense. If this was a mock high school election, the Tigers would be voted The Team Least Likely To Slug Their Way To Victory.

The White Sox can win some games 7-6, 9-7. So can the Twins, especially in the Hefty Dome.

The Tigers? Not so much.

And don't dismiss the Chisox's addition of Jake Peavy, which could nullify the Washburn move.

Sometimes you have to win games that turn into slugfests. As attractive as the Tigers' rotation is now with the addition of Washburn, it's asking an awful lot to have the top three consistently surrender three or fewer runs per start.

Then there's the case of Brandon Inge, whose legs are being held together now with bailing wire and string.

Inge is a different player post-All-Star Game. He's not even the Brandon Inge of old. He's a pitcher with a bat in his hand.

So there goes one of your few reliable offensive options. Don't be surprised if Inge's knees break down completely and we wake to news of him being done for the season.

I like Jarrod Washburn. I like him in the Tigers' rotation. I like what they gave up to get him, which wasn't as much as feared.

But if that's it for procuring help from outside the organization, then I don't like the Washburn move so much.

Still need some thump.


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