Monday, May 10, 2010

Jackson, Coke make Tigers early winner in three-team swap

So, who won last December's  three-team, seven-player swap that turned Austin Jackson, Max Scherzer and Phil Coke into Tigers?

At this admittedly early juncture, I would have to say Detroit did, hands down.

Jackson's performance alone these first five weeks, tilts the trade decidedly in the Tigers' favor.

Going into Monday night's series opener against the Yankees, Jackson, the Tigers' early-season sensation, is leading the American League in both batting average (.371) and base hits (49).

I guarantee you, neither the Tigers or the Yankees expected that.

Coke, who was briefly considered for the Tigers' starting rotation during spring training, has replaced Bobby Seay as the leading lefty in the bullpen. Coke is a surprising 3-0 with a 1.76 ERA and has yet to yield a home run this year. He is one of main reasons why the bullpen has been able to repeatedly bail out the starters.

Max Scherzer, billed as the No. 3 man in the rotation, is having a tough time adjusting to AL hitters. He is 0-3 in his last three starts, allowing 21 earned runs in his last 13 innings, to elevate his ERA to an unsightly 6.81. Scherzer is 1-3 overall.

And don't forget Daniel Schlereth, the fourth player the Tigers picked up in the trade. He has a 1.13 ERA pitching in relief at Triple A Toledo. Do not be surprised if you see him in the Tigers' bullpen before this season is over.

Meanwhile, Granderson, the Yankees' only acquisition in the deal, is on the disabled list with a strained  groin. Granderson was batting a disappointing .225 with two HRs for New York before he got hurt.

Edwin Jackson has picked up right where he left off at the end of last season for the Tigers -- which does not bode well for the Diamondbacks.  Jackson, who pitched like an All-Star during the first half of last season before fading during the second half, is 1-4 with a 7.32 ERA in Arizona.

The seventh player to change teams in the trade was pitcher Ian Kennedy, who went from the Yankees to the Tigers and immediately to the Diamondbacks in the three-cornered deal. In seven starts for Arizona, Kennedy is 2-2 with a 3.48 ERA.

Bottom line: Dave Dombrowski and his front office staff, including scout Jeff Wetherby, who recommended Jackson, can take another bow.


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