- Can Dontrelle Willis bounce back?
Yes! I think we’re already seeing him bounce back. I think he’ll be in the majors again by the end of the season, and I predict we’ll see a solid start. If the question meant, “Can Dontrelle get back to where he was two or three years ago?” … well I have no clue there. We can only hope, but I find it unlikely.
But getting back to contributing to the Tigers? For sure. He only walked two in his last start, in six innings. And I think we can all agree, the issues with Willis were his control and his injury status. He’s been pitching deep into games and has walked only two or three per start most of the time.
- Can the Tigers deal Carlos Guillen?
While I do think Guillen may be going a bit downhill, a bit too fast, I’m not sure if you want to deal him. Actually, let me rephrase that. I’m not sure how much value you’d get if you did trade him. He’s owed 36 million over three years. If we, as fans, think his contributions are going down, why on earth would a living, breathing general manager trade for that contract? Answer is: he probably wouldn’t now that Bill Bavasi was fired in Seattle. And if he did, the Tigers would be paying a decent portion of it. And maybe not get much in return. So my answer is “no.” Not worth while. So, fact is, he’s a Tiger for awhile. But I’m OK with that.
- If the Tigers can get a catcher, do they — and do they move Brandon Inge back to third?
A qualified “Yes.” I don’t like Inge catching, personally. But despite having great defensive skills at third base, I don’t really like his batting for a third baseman.
Ultimately, this question is going to be answered by whether they can move Carlos Guillen to shortstop by finding an exit stategy for Gary Sheffield. If Sheffield is a Tiger, then Guillen is a third baseman, and Inge is (probably) the catcher.
But like I said, I don’t like Inge’s catching all that much and I’d rather he move back to the field. So I hope they move Sheffield and find a viable catcher to fill the role.
- Does Vance Wilson return at long last?
No. I suspect he’ll retire, actually. But I don’t think he’ll be a Tiger.
- Who’s the shortstop?
I have no idea. Whatsoever. Rafeal Furcal? Ramon Santiago? Probably Santiago if the team is going to be cost-conscious and think about 2010. Then again, depending on how much money they’re getting, maybe Edgar Renteria remains shortstop after all. He hasn’t been doing too bad lately at the plate. Compared to Edgar Renteria anyway. But he still can’t field.