We waited, and Dave Dombrowski delivered.
We questioned, and Double D answered.
We wanted, he got.
Detroit Tigers General Manager Dave Dombrowski pulled the trigger on yet another trade deadline deal on Thursday, dealing two pitching prospects for Texas Rangers closer Joakim Soria.
The move comes as a result of a bullpen that has struggled mightily, boasting a scary 4.37 ERA. Throw closer Joe Nathan’s inconsistencies into the mix and the Tigers had no choice but to get a solid bullpen arm.
Soria will surely solidify the Tigers’ pen, and despite Dombrowski and Brad Ausmus standing by their closer Nathan, Soria could certainly close games if needed. He sports a solid line of 2.70 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, and a squeaky-clean 1.07 FIP. He strikes out more than 10 times as many as he walks and his SO/9 of 11.3 is tough to beat.
Compare that to Nathan’s line of 5.89 ERA/1.52 WHIP/4.18 FIP/ 2.44 K:BB/ 9.6 K/9 and it sure seems like the Tigers may have found a new closer.
For argument’s sake, let’s say that Nathan rights the ship and remains as the Tigers’ closer. With Nathan performing, the bullpen now looks like this:
Set-up man: Soria
While this looks pretty formidable, especially with the way Chamberlain has pitched lately, Tigers fans will be quick to point out one thing: the lack of a shut-down lefty.
Hardy has looked good, but has no experience. Krol is coming off a long DL stint. Coke belongs at an Iowa truck stop selling travel guides.
Sorry Phil. You actually almost had me believing in you again until you coughed up two runs on Tuesday, losing the game for Detroit in the process.
I feel that he does. With a week still left before the deadline, DD has more tricks up his sleeve. If the Tigers want to win it all (and trust me, it’s World Series ring or bust), they need a lefty that can get the big southpaw bats out with consistency. No Tigers fan wants to see Coke sprinting in from the bullpen to face Brandon Moss in the bottom of the 7th inning in game six of the ALCS.
We’ve all seen how that ends.
Dombrowski knows he needs a left-handed reliever, and unless he plans to promote Ray from the minors and move Drew Smyly back to the bullpen where he was so successful in 2013, he needs to make a trade.
And knowing Dombo, it will happen.