Tigers Trade Maroth to Cardinals; Rotation Fixed!

This really isn’t that huge of a story except for a small quote from Jim Leyland on the positives for Mike Maroth.

“It’s the perfect scenario for Mike,” Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. “He’s going into the rotation for the world champions.”

I can only imagine the caustic tone in which Leyland uttered this sentence as there are quite a few reasons why things are so much different now.

1) Last season Maroth was injured for much of Detroit’s AL Championship Season and didn’t appear in the postseason. Detroit was arguably the better team offensively and pitching-wise last season. Things haven’t changed this season as the divide between the two teams has actually increased.

2) In 2006 Detroit was 95-67, while St. Louis was a moribund (for a champion) 83-78. Their Pythagorean W-L was pretty much spot on. So far this season Detroit is 44-29 (45-28, PythW-L) and the Cards are 33-38 (29-42, PythW-L). In other words, Detroit is looking to return to the World Series, while the Cardinals are looking to come within sight of .500.

3) Obviously Maroth will be getting a better chance to start as he was the weakest link in an excessively talented rotation with Kenny Rogers’ return bumping him out of favor. Who knows, Dave Duncan may be able to work some of his magic on Maroth in the same manner he did with Jeff Weaver. But the truth remains that Maroth is joining a rotation that has been absolutely awful with a side of misfortune. Chris Carpenter was injured in his first start (which wasn’t even good) and is on the DL with starters Mark Mulder and Braden Looper. Jeff Weaver and Jeff Suppan left in free agency and StL could only replace them with Kip Wells and relief pitchers from within the organization. Five of their starters have been converted relievers (as in converted this season) and all have pitched better than the three actual starters (Kip Wells, Al Reyes, Chris Carpenter).

Good luck helping St. Louis defend their championship, Mike Maroth.

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2 Responses

  1. I wonder how Mike feels. Does he feel like Jim Leyland was a condescending prick with the “you’re going to keep on sucking down there” tone of voice regarding the trade. Or does he feel like he moved to a World Champion?

    I mean, the Cardinals ARE still in one of the weakest divisions. Who knows if the Brewers will keep their play up. God knows the Cubs will only dissolve with time.

    He’s a solid lefty. He’ll fit into the rotation and get a couple of wins. If the order produces for the rotation, they might even see a sudden spike in wins. As long as they keep within sight of the Brewers, they’ll have something to speak of come over the All Star break.

  2. The Cardinals can make a push to the top of the division, but adding Maroth won’t fix everything (altho he will certainly do better in the NL Central than the AL Central), just like adding Clemens won’t fix the Yankees.

    The Brewers are still the top of this league and have the offense and pitching to back that up. The Cards need to have Mulder and Carpenter back and pitching well in order to make any sort of push.

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