As BBWAA writers in Detroit prepare to vote on the “Tiger Of The Year” award, Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reveals that his vote will go to a player who didn’t suit up for the Tigers after the trade deadline — Nicholas Castellanos. A case could certainly be made that Castellanos was still the best performer on the woeful Tigers, though Fenech took something of a more symbolic stance, arguing that Castellanos “provided a fitting look at the front office’s failure to gain serious ground in their rebuilding process.” After several months of fruitless attempts to move Castellanos, Detroit finally unloaded the slugger to the Cubs for two decent but unspectacular pitching prospects, only to see Castellanos start tearing the cover off the ball after arriving in Chicago.
“How did the Tigers not know this hitter was in there? And why does every player that leave Detroit improve?” Fenech asks, also wondering why the club didn’t make more of an effort to extend a player who openly desired to be a long-term piece for the Tigers. Instead, the lack of progress on either a trade or an extension seemed to wear on Castellanos in the first half of the year, which didn’t help his trade value.
More from around the AL Central…
- The Indians announced that catcher Roberto Perez underwent arthroscopic surgery in order to remove bone spurs from his right ankle. The procedure isn’t considered serious, and Perez is expected to be fully ready for the start of Spring Training. Moving into a starting role for the first time, Perez responded with a career year in 2019, hitting .239/.321/.452 with 24 home runs over 449 PA. He was also arguably the game’s best defensive catcher, throwing out 20 of 49 would-be base-stealers and ranking at or near the top of the league in blocking and framing metrics.
- Royals left-hander Richard Lovelady also went under the knife, as the team announced that the rookie will be sidelined for six-to-eight weeks after right knee surgery. A tenth-round pick in the 2016 draft, Lovelady made his MLB debut last season, posting a 7.65 ERA over 20 innings (25 games) out of Kansas City’s bullpen. A .412 BABIP contributed to Lovelady’s inflated ERA, as his 4.16 FIP/4.75 xFIP/4.58 SIERA presented a much more respectable picture of his first season. The 24-year-old is expected to compete for a job in the Royals’ pen during Spring Training.