TigsTown Roundtable: Looking to 2011?

Ready to talk Tigers? Want to hear the opinion of the TigsTown staff? Welcome to the TigsTown Roundtable! This week's question: At what point should the Tigers start looking toward 2011 when it comes to starts and playing time?

Paul Wezner, Executive Editor
I think most rational fans have recognized (including manager Jim Leyland) that this team likely isn't going to make another push for the division crown this year, so with that in mind, the Tigers should begin to look toward 2011 now, and come September 1st, start to challenge some of the younger players. There's no reason to force big league players out right now, especially if you think they may have a place on the team beyond this season, which means unless a windfall offer comes, Brandon Inge and Johnny Damon should be staying put. Does Alfredo Figaro have a place on the team next year? What about Andy Oliver? What about the other litany of bullpen arms the Tigers have brought up at some point this season? Can Scott Sizemore handle third base in the big leagues? What about second? More importantly, can he hit with the authority that he has in the minors? Can Casper Wells be a viable option off the bench? All these are questions the Tigers can, and should try and answer over the final six weeks of the season.

Mark Anderson, Managing Editor
I'm not sure there is much the Tigers can do differently right now that would indicate they are beginning to look towards 2011. Maybe come September when guys like Scott Sizemore, Danny Worth, and potentially some arms like Andy Oliver and Alfredo Figaro are back up in Detroit, then they can start forcing them into the lineup/rotation to get additional experience, but right now, there's just not much they can do. I believe, if you could get some of the brass in a moment of honesty, that the Tigers have largely already conceeded the Division race, and are looking at what they need to evaluate for next year, and what they may be able to do in terms of waiver deadline deals to set the stage for 2011 and beyond. Unfortunately, they're in a bit of a holding pattern over the next three weeks, at which point I think Tiger fans may see a shift in the playing time compendium.

Jason Avery, Associate Editor, Amateur Baseball
Given the number of injuries the Tigers have had this year, they have had to play younger players out of necessity, so management should have some idea as to who will be a part of the team's future plans. Now of course the team could also take a look at some players that haven't seen nearly as much playing time as others (Casper Wells for example), but I don't think the team will start to look at that until September, as they will want exhaust every opportunity to try and make a run back into the race before conceding anything.

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