Max DeMara is musing on all things Detroit Tigers.
This past weekend, the Colorado Rockies made a rare visit to take on the Detroit Tigers. While many fans were expecting to see the team's usual stars such as Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez, a few others stole the show.
What the Rockies lacked in pitching, they made up for with timely defense and young hitting. A trio of players routinely impressed. Additionally, thoughts are included on Ivan Rodriguez, David Price's whirlwind and Alex Avila.
Arenado's Airtime. It might not count for much, but as a former third baseman, watching the elite defensive play of Nolan Arenado, the Rockies man at the hot corner, was refreshing to see. Arenado made two spectacular plays on Saturday, and drew the approval of Brad Ausmus, who called him a gold glove caliber player at the position. There hasn't been many elite players take over at third recently who show signs of being a superstar, so credit Arenado and watch him closely in the coming years.
Stubbs And Blackmon Impress, Too. Each of these Rockies are fantastic as well. Drew Stubbs can rake, and Charlie Blackmon has the ability to become a captivating personality with his excellent play and long, dark beard. When Tulowitzki and Gonzalez return, it's easy to see why the Rockies will have a very formidable lineup. Both Stubbs and Blackmon made a bid to carry the team over the weekend, but simply lacked enough support from their pitching staff and other hitters to get the job done.
Pudge Power. Over the weekend, the Tigers brought back Ivan Rodriguez and honored him prior to Saturday night's win over the Rockies. Prior to that, in speaking with Rodriguez, it's clear that the passion for baseball still burns deep within him. He spoke about his satisfaction working with Texas Rangers' catcher Robinson Chirinos, and discussed current MLB rule changes with passion. More than anything, though, Rodriguez was a class act, giving the assembled media plenty of time and many thoughtful answers on several topics. What a pleasure it was to meet and interview him.
The Price Is Right. Hopefully that's the last time we have to see that silly headline, but it certainly fits right now. Watching David Price interact with his new city and team was a thing of beauty over the weekend. He admitted to having knees knock during his first bullpen session in Detroit, but with a blend of personality and charm, Price survived the first few days in his new city and media throngs. A round of applause for both he and Dave Dombrowski, who pulled off the move during an exciting, memorable Thursday at the park.
Frustrating Avila. After a solid Saturday night which included three hits against left handed pitching, Alex Avila scuffled on Monday against the New York Yankees, failing to hit with runners in scoring position two separate times. Once, he had the bases loaded and grounded out. Later, he had runners on first and second and failed to make contact against lefty Matt Thornton. It seems Avila lives in a perpetual state of ups and downs. One day, he steals the show, while the next he looks beyond mortal. Somehow, the catcher needs to find consistency at the dish.
Max DeMara is the editor of @tigers_101. Follow the site there on Twitter, or like it on Facebook to connect with him.
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