With so much to say, I don’t know where to begin. So we’ll start with the bright spots, because we can get those out of the way quickly
-In case you hadn’t noticed, Eric Munson has become a respectable 3rd basemen. While his fielding still has room for improvement-he’s last in the AL in zone rating, and next to last in fielding percentage and range factor-he has raised his OPS to .767 which is 7th best among AL third baggers. Additionally, leads all rookies in BB/PA (.097) and is second in isolated power (.192).
-Warren Morris continues to hit well, and with power. His numbers are .348/.348/.587 with three home runs. True, it is only 46 at-bats, and his career numbers of .268/.339/.384 indicate he probably will take some walks eventually, and he won’t continue to hit for this much power. Regardless, even if he reverts to his career numbers, it will be the most production we’ll have had at second since Damion Easley’s good season.
-And while we’re in the middle of the diamond let’s talk about who’s going to play short. Shane Halter brings more power to the position (but about the same batting average). And now it looks like Santiago is auditioning for the job as well. In the end, either Infante or Santiago is heading to the minors when Pena comes back later this week. I know if I’m Nate Cornejo, the combination of Morris and Halter in the middle scares the bejesus out of me. (Side Note: Wasn’t it only last year that the Tigers gave up offense to improve defense- a la Chris Truby?).
-Speaking of poor range, you know you’re in trouble when Dmitri Young is coming over from left to make plays on balls hit to center field. Alex Sanchez simply cannot get to enough balls. Part of the problem is he’s playing two steps in front of the warning track. How long are they going to tolerate this? It’s not like his base stealing is a threat when he has an on base average of .280.
-Gary Knotts didn’t have a very impressive outing in relief on Saturday, as he kept throwing balls into the seats. Today he finds himself bound for Toledo. Fernando Rodney, who had 16 saves for the Mud Hens will take his place.
I do have to give the Tigers credit for one thing though this year. They went into the season knowing they were trying to evaluate talent. And to their credit they gave everyone a fair shot before shaking things up. They waited over a third of the way through the season. The position players have had a number of games to get acclimated, and the pitchers all got 12-14 starts.
Also, I like the fact that Tram kept Roney’s first outing short. While I didn’t understand why you would want him to start at Coors field where the bullpen already stood a good chance of being heavily utilized, I appreciate the fact he was looking out for his arm.