The Hardball Times have compiled and posted 2004 Win Shares. For those unfamiliar with Win Shares, it essentially calculates a players value based on his performance in batting, pitching, and fielding. Players are then given an appropriate portion of a teams wins, such that 3 win shares equals one win. (This article does a good job of describing win shares if you want to know more)
Looking at the Tigers’ Win Shares, three newcomers top the list. Pudge has 9, and Carlos Guillen and Rondell White are tied with 7. Essentially, these three guys have accounted for 8 of the Tigers 16 (as of 5/14 when these were calculated) wins.
Next on the list of Tigers is uber utility player Brandon Inge who has 5 so far this year. Last year Brandon had 5 win shares all season. What’s more, all 5 WS last year were from fielding. This year he has contributed 4 win shares from batting.
As for how the Tigers stack up compared to the rest of the league, the three new guys all rank in the top 10 in the AL. Pudge leads all catchers. Jorge Posada is second among catchers with 6. Guillen is second behind only Michael Young at shortstop. Interestingly enough, Miguel Tejada (5) and Rich Aurilia (2), who were the Tigers first 2 choices at short, have the same number of WS combined as Guillen. Rondell White is tied for 2nd among outfielders with Magglio Ordonez and Vlad Guerrero.
As for the pitchers, well…Up until this last week, pitching was inconsistent at best. As such, the pitching staff has only contributed 11.3 of the 48 team win shares. Maroth, Jamie Walker, and Ugueth Urbina lead the hurlers with 2 WS apiece.