The Tigers started 3 rookies -- Clete Thomas, Matt Joyce and Michael Hollimon -- last night in their 8-4 win at Seattle, and all contributed. I don't believe it is a coincidence Detroit's season turned when injuries forced something of a youth movement. All 3 rooks from last night have posted an above-average OPS+ in their limited action, and have provided some clutch moments, too. Armando Galarraga has been, by far, the Tigs most consistent and best starter. Freddy Dolsi has provided a little spark in the pen.
When the Tigers won unexpectedly in 2006, there was a youthful exuberance on the field. Probably a lot like what's happening in Tampa this year. This year, the exuberance was replaced by a businesslike atmosphere. Compounded by the early-season losing, there seemed to be no joy in Mudville. The young guys bring back that life. And I've noticed it's seemed to spread. The winning helps, of course. But I think seeing guys out there with something to prove might have re-lit the fire in the veterans.