Paul Wezner, Executive Editor
The strong start from Scot Drucker means only that he's off to a good start thus far, but if he keeps it up for the rest of the season, it opens up multiple avenues for him as the 2010 season and spring training approaches. From the Tigers' perspective, it's not a coincidence that Drucker, not a top prospect compared to the rest of his AFL Tigers' teammates, was sent to Arizona. A strong showing from him this fall after a strong season in Triple-A could leave him in position to fight for a position on the big league club. Given Drucker's durability he could emerge as an ideal candidate for a long relief or swingman role in a big league bullpen. Of course the flip side is that could open up the possibility of increased interest from other teams, and the Tigers may need to protect him on the 40 man roster prior to the December Rule 5 draft. But the better he pitches, the more options that open up for both him and the Tigers, and the smarter the organization looks for sending a bit of a under-the-radar player to Arizona.
Mark Anderson, Managing Editor
The strong start itself doesn't mean much other than provide a nice confidence boost to Drucker and his teammates in the AFL. Now, if Drucker can maintain his performance, it could have some significant impacts heading into spring training. Already under contract to return to the Tigers system in 2010, Drucker is now looking for ways to impress, improve, and fit in. A former top prospect, injuries have derailed Drucker a bit, but healthy again, he's back to looking like the type of guy that can help a Major League team. The biggest hurdle here is consistency for Drucker; consistency in his fastball command, the quality of his curveball, and in his overall performance on the mound. There is little doubt Drucker has the stuff to pitch at the big league level, either in the back of a rotation or out of the bullpen, it's just a matter of timing a hot streak with an opportunity to crack the roster. A strong AFL season could certainly lead to a strong spring as well, and possibly mean a longer look at the 2010 Opening Day roster, than many fans would expect. There are openings in the rotation and in the bullpen, and this AFL season is about gaining experience and confidence, to try and fill one of those openings. So far, so good for Drucker -- and for the Tigers -- as the experience has been positive, confidence is rising, and Drucker might just be ready to show his stuff on the biggest stage.
Jason Avery, Associate Editor, Amateur Baseball
What Drucker's performance in the AFL means is that it gives the Tigers an option for their future plans. Drucker could be a trade chip to use that can help either bring a veteran bat or an arm, or he could be someone that could make the team out of Spring Training or be a contributor at some point during the season. In either case, the Tigers are a team that needs help in a variety of areas, so whether he helps the pitching staff or is a part of a deal, he is a player that I don't think many people were counting on to be a part of any plans, and his emergence has been nice to see.
Have your own opinion on the issue? Ready to talk about it? State your opinion on the Detroit Tigers Open Message Board and go head to head with the experts!