August Preliminary Report: Tigers

Detroit Tigers
• The Tigers finished July with a 15-14 won-lost record, and are currently in third place in the AL East, just 8½ games behind the first-place Yankees. Helping their cause in August will be the 18 games they play at home at Tiger Stadium, in contrast with the nine they’ll play on the road.

• Hoping to close that 8½ gap between third and first, manager Ralph Houk has decided to exploit the arms of Mark Fidrych (PB 2-8), Dave Rozema (2-7), and Kip Young (2-7) by going to a four-man rotation, with Jack Billingham (2-6) rounding out the quartet. Starters Jim Slaton and Milt Wilcox have been moved to the bullpen, where they’ll help John Hiller (2-8) put out fires.

• Besides Ron LeFlore, Johnny Wockenfuss is the only Tiger player to steal a base this season; LeFlore currently has 58, while Wockenfuss has some catching up to do, with 2.

• Since his call-up from the Evansville Triplets of the American Association on July 25th, Dave Stegman has appeared in three games, and is 3-for-3 as a pinch-hitter, with 1 home run and 2 RBI.

• Right fielder Tim Corcoran’s July batting average of .409 has catapulted him into the second spot in the batting order, beyond lead-off man Ron LeFlore, an ‘A’ runner who will benefit from Corcoran’s hit-and-run capabilities.

• Without a regular catcher available at Evansville to back up Milt May and Lance Parrish, the Tigers promoted Bruce Kimm to AAA from the AA Montgomery Rebels to serve as a safety net in case either May or Parrish are injured (although Wockenfuss could be used in a pinch, since he’d served as catcher in every one of his 12 major leagues seasons…except in 1978).

• Steve Foucault, who started the actual 1978 season with Detroit and appeared in 24 games, was traded by the Tigers to the Royals on August 16th; three weeks later, he was released by KC, and his career was over. Guess where the geniuses at Avalon Hill have him playing in my season? Yep, for the Royals.

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2 responses to “August Preliminary Report: Tigers

  1. According to the Internet, Kimm was Fidrych’s designated catcher, so every fourth start Kimm can spell May or Parrish, at least. Foucault, it appears, is still in baseball, currently the pitching coach for the Long Island Ducks. My preliminary prognostication for the Tigers is that they will finish August in a dead heat with Baltimore for third place.

    • Unfortunately, The Bird will have to do with May or Parrish (or Wockenfuss, in a pinch), because Kimm is biding his time in the minors at the moment. Fidrych should actually be there, too…he only had three appearances in ’78 with the Tigers, and then as far as I know, his nagging injury from ’77 put him in the minors for the remainder of the ’78 season. But in SP78, he’ll play all the way through to October, and we’ll wait and see if he helps the team escape third place and take part in the playoffs.

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