Friday, 1 July 2011

Detroit Tigers Links: Who's had a better June than Justin Verlander?

062011-justin-verlander.jpgAP PhotoTigers pitcher Justin Verlander has been outstanding in June, going 5-0 with an 0.86 ERA. He can improve on those numbers Thursday against the Mets.

• Justin Verlander has one more start to make in June. And it's been a great month for him. But who's had a better June: Verlander or Cliff Lee? Both are 5-0, both have ERAs under 1.00. Lee has thrown three straight shutouts, but Verlander has more strikeouts (48 vs. 29) and fewer walks (four vs. eight). Thursday's performance versus the Mets could end up being the decider. [ESPN New York]

• Rick Porcello and Phil Coke have been bombed for 14 combined runs the last two nights, which makes starting pitching look more like an area the Tigers will need to address at the trade deadline. Could Baltimore's Jeremy Guthrie be a potential target? His record is an ugly 3-9 but his 3.93 ERA is lower than any Tigers starter besides Verlander. [Detroit Baseball Page]

• So why was Porcello so ineffective on Tuesday night? Kid Rick said he felt like he had good stuff. Jim Leyland said Porcello left some pitches up in the strike zone, but the Mets were basically hitting everything. Could both be right? Porcello was throwing hard but missed his location several times. Yet even when he kept the ball down, Mets batters were still hitting it. Just a bad night? [Bless You Boys]

• Such is life with a minor league team. Brayan Villareal was scheduled to start Thursday for Triple-A Toledo, but was called up to Detroit after Wednesday's loss to the Mets. No word as of this writing on who the Mud Hens will start instead. [Coop Scoop]

• Has pitching as a starter taken a mental toll on Phil Coke? That what Michael Rosenberg thinks after watching Coke come out of Wednesday night's game and notice a heckler in the stands while he was in the dugout. Coke's lack of success is obviously getting to him, but is his mentality better suited for pitching in relief anyway? [Detroit Free Press]

• All-Star rosters will be announced on Sunday. The Tigers seem likely to get one or two spots on the AL roster with Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera. Will Alex Avila get another? One more Tiger who deserves a spot is Jhonny Peralta.'s David Schoenfield lists him among five deserving players who will likely be snubbed. [Sweet Spot]

• Avila says he'd thank all the fans who have been supporting his All-Star cause, if only he knew how. C'mon, Alex, it's not that hard. Ask Casper Wells (@UpstateBaller) to show you how to set up a Twitter account. He was one of the first Tigers to do it. []

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