The Tigers announced that they released Brad Eldred from their Triple-A roster and that he has elected to sign with the Hiroshima Toyo Carp in Japan (Twitter link). Dan Kurtz of MyKBO.net first reported the deal three days ago (Twitter link).
Eldred, 31, appeared in five games for the Tigers this year and also has MLB experience with the Pirates and Rockies. The 6'6" first baseman has a .268/.336/.546 batting line with 251 home runs in 11 minor league seasons. He already has 24 home runs at Triple-A Toledo this year.
Yeah, he couldn’t hit anything when he came up to Detroit. Hopefully he finds more luck (and more pay!) overseas.
He barely got a chance. I’m not saying Eldred can stick around, but Detroit clearly was using him as a “filler” player…
So your take is there’s nothing fishy about the Carp signing him, then?
Better than Raburn…
He got 18 plate appearances.
I can’t stand this AAAA player nonsense. It is a nearly meaningless distinction, probably completely meaningless, and guys that get branded with “AAAA” are basically doomed forever, regardless of whether they may have had something to contribute at the major league level. We’ll never know because of this kind of groupthink.
Eldred may not have been great, but it’s very, very doubtful that he’s be as bad as Delmon Young. The Tigers have used players like Don Kelly and Gerald Laird at DH this year, but nope, can’t use Eldred because hey, who needs a AAAA player on the roster? Those 24 homers in the International League? Those all would have been flyouts to the warning track in the magical bigs.
You want to keep the concept of the AAAA player alive? Fine, but please acknowledge that there are a whole bunch of “AAAA” players in the major leagues, some of which have been lucky enough to be branded as certified big leaguers. It’s a Venn diagram, arbitrarily drawn.
Factor in Delmon Young’s base running and his defense (to say nothing of his anti-semitic tirade at 3AM) and tell me that is not a minor league baseball player. He brings just about nothing to the table, and he’s a waste of roster space, but he knocked in 100 runs years ago, when a few real hitters were batting in front of him, so he’s not wearing a Carp or a Nippon Ham Fighters uniform now. What a joke.
Same thing with Matt LaPorta, who should be in the big leagues being given another chance as we speak. Can’t do that though! He’s a washed up ex-prospect, your classic AAAA player! If we tried 27-year old LaPorta, what would we do with 29-year old Casey Kotchman and his 221/284/347 line?
So ornery! And yet, you’re totally correct. I’ve been pretty impressed with our own AAAA player, Bryan LaHair, so far, but I do feel like he’s bound to regress considerably.
Tigers fan, what can I say. So annoying.
Lahair is lucky he hit right out of the gate. Otherwise he’d be a Yakult Swallow right now. Maybe not with Epstein at the helm, though. I’m positive he understands these concepts better than anyone in the entire Tigers organization.
Give it a few years, 101andCounting. You’ll start winning.
I disagree with this post. Just because some “AAAA” players go to the bigs and succeed doesn’t invalidate the concept entirely.
LaPorta is a particularly bad example, because he’s had the better part of 2 1/2 seasons to prove his worth in the big leagues and has been terrible. What in the world does tearing up AAA mean when we know that he can do that already? He tears up AAA every time he’s in the league, yet falters at the big league level. Isn’t the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results? LaPorta is a bust and the definition of an AAAA player.
And every chance Eldred has had, he has failed as well. His approach didn’t magically change in the minors, leading the Tigers to believe he’d be better if given a “chance”. He has the same poor plate discipline and AAAA power. Delmon Young/etc. are all red herrings. Of course guys like him shouldn’t be on an ML roster. But it doesn’t mean that Eldred is a better option.
I’m not saying Eldred should replace Prince Fielder or Paul Konerko or David Ortiz. I’m saying he should replace a player that he is probably at least equal to, with the potential to be better. Delmon Young is a really, really bad player. You might be underestimating this. Simply providing his OPS+ numbers does a disservice to his striking inability to play the game competently. He is a horrendous base runner. He is a merciless butcher in the very challenging position of left field. He grounds into a lot of double plays. He sees very few pitches and thus never walks, and he actually doesn’t hit that many homers, which you’d think might be a strength with that kind of player profile. Let’s replace him with a readily available player that costs no money, might not walk, might not hit for a high average, but MIGHT hit a bunch of homers. Nope, can’t do that, because the guy we’re talking about is a “AAAA player”.
Again, if you want to hold onto the AAAA distinction, fine, but make sure you acknowledge that in the majors there are many such players that were lucky enough not to have been branded as such. They’re all over the place. Actually, in Delmon’s case it might be an insult to them, since Young would probably not be that great if he were sent back to AAA.
Same with LaPorta. (By, the way, it’s a stretch to say that he’s spent the better part of 2.5 seasons in the majors – since when is 1000 non-contiguous plate appearances 2.5 seasons?). LaPorta’s upside, despite the struggles he’s had in the majors, is unquestionably higher than Kotchman’s. Kotchman had a decent year last year, but aside from that he’s generally been very pedestrian, and he’s been awful this year.
As for LaPorta, don’t players sometimes reach their potential once something clicks for them? I can provide countless examples of this phenomenon, foremost of which would be Jose Bautista, who was a couple of years older than LaPorta when he broke out, was up until then decidedly AAA quality, at best, and, unlike LaPorta, didn’t have anyone saying he’d be a great hitter, ever. Was LaPorta way worse than Kotchman? LaPorta’s OPS+ in his alleged 2 1/2 seasons is 93, while Kotchman’s, after 3000-plus plate appearances, is 96. Which guy do you play, the one who is currently awful, older, and has less upside? Naturally, because he’s not the dreaded AAAA player!
All I’m saying is, this “AAAA player” talk, whether legitimate or not on some arcane level, probably does more to distort reality than it does to clarify, describe, or meaningfully distinguish anything at all.
Delmon Young isn’t a great player by any stretch but he’s better than Eldred. Come on dude.
Gotta love those AAAA players!
I bet the Carp will give him more then 18 at bats to see if he can produce, wasn’t the entire Tigers offense struggling the time he got called up?
Sure he didn’t have much of an opportunity but he flat out looked over matched when he was up. There’s a reason why guys like him spend their entire career in the minors.
Pos hoc ergo propter hoc. Being in the majors is in itself a testament that you belong there, and being in the minors is in itself a testament that you belong there and only there. I believe you have missed the entire point, Brandon.
I guess in those 17 plate appearances he messed up Detroit’s wa. You gotta have that if you want to win.