Missing Magglio?

With the exception of a 10 run outburst in Anaheim, the Tigers offense has been in a funk for several weeks. In their last 17 games they have only averaged 3.5 runs per game. Fortunately some strong pitching has kept them 8-9 over that span. What is commonly heard is that the Tigers are really missing Magglio Ordonez in the middle of the lineup. The truth is, they aren’t really missing him that much. In Ordonez’s place Nook Logan has provided nearly as much offensive punch as Magglio would have during that time period. And what Logan hasn’t been able to accomplish offensively has probably been offset by his play in centerfield (and Monroe’s move to rightfield).

If Ordonez hadn’t gone down with his injury, Craig Monroe would still be the starting centerfielder. Logan would have been relegated to pinch runner/defensive replacement/spot starter. As Ordonez’s replacement, Logan has amassed a .367/.387/.478 line with 4 stolen bases against 2 caught stealings. Lost in that stat line is some of the havoc that Logan has created on the basepaths – such as scoring from first on a wild pitch. His runs created/27 outs of 6.26 is third on the team behind only Carlos Guillen and Brandon Inge.

While you can’t say with any sort of certainty what Ordonez would have done during the same time span, you can look at his career numbers as a proxy. Magglio’s career RC27 is 6.89, or a little more than half a run better than what Nook has been providing.

I’m not suggesting that Nook Logan is the hitter that Ordonez is. While Nook is tremendously exciting to watch, he’s probably playing a little over his head right now. My point is that because Logan has played so well, the Tigers haven’t really been that hurt by Ordonez’s injury.

Notes from this weekend

-Jeremy Bonderman continues to look more and more like a staff ace and an All Star. The Tigers were clearly hurt more by the rain delay in the first game of the double header. Despite the fact the score was tied at the time, Bartolo Colon wasn’t close to having the same stuff that Bonderman had. Watching Bonderman is becoming an event, and at this rate games will start drawing 30,000+ just because he is starting.
-It was so refreshing to have an uneventful outing from the bullpen in game 2 on Saturday. In his 3 outings (small sample size alert) Ugueth Urbina has 5 strikeouts against one walk and one hit in converting all three saves. If Urbina continues to pitch like he has in the last week, what happens when Troy Percival is healthy?
-Tiger pitchers aren’t helping their own cause. With Jamie Walker’s and Nate Robertson’s errors this weekend, pitchers now have 6 of the teams 27 errors. While the rest of the defense has been very good (2nd in the AL in defensive efficiency), the pitchers haven’t held up their end of the deal.

Blogging News and Notes
-I’ve started to play with the TITLE tag in HTML. Basically, if you hover over certain text, a window will pop up with a description. I figured this would be effective for some of the less well known stats like RC27. In Firefox browswers words/phrases that have a description are underlined. Unfortunately IE doesn’t share the underlining functionality, but the description will still appear if you hover you mouse over the word. Let me know if you think this is helpful.

-Mario Impemba, play-by-play voice for Fox Sports has a blog over at MLBlogs.

-Detroit Free Press tech reporter Mike Wendland has a story about baseball blogs in today’s paper. DTW got a mention along with TigerBlog and View from the Cheap Seats. Thanks to Mike for the recognition, and welcome to anyone finding their way here for the first time.