Splitting Time

Fresh off a sweep of the first place San Diego Padres, let’s peruse some interesting splits.

Heating Up
I know that when it gets warmer, it can help offense. However, when we kept hearing that the Tiger bats would heat up when the weather got warmer I was a little skeptical. First, just because the temperature changes it won’t break someone out of a slump. And second, wouldn’t the same hold true for Tiger opponents. Well, then I did some checking. Below is a table of Tiger and opponent runs per game based on temperature as recorded in the box score (yes I am that geeky if you had any doubts).


Temp Det Runs Opp Runs Games
40s 3.1 5.1 7
50s 3.8 4.1 18
60s 4.4 3.4 11
70s 5.3 4.2 19
80s 5.4 6.4 8
Total 4.5 4.4 63

If the game time temperature is between 60 and 79, I like the Tigers chances. What’s amazing is that 25 of the 63 games have been played in sub 60 temperatures.

Home Cookin’
No wonder Brandon Inge isn’t complaining about Comerica. His OPS is 117 points higher at home than it is on the road. While he has a better batting average at home (and thus a better OBP), the biggest jump is in slugging percentage. He’s slugging 520 at home against 417 on the road with two thirds of his triples and homers coming at home.

As much as Inge has benefitted from Comerica, Carlos Guillen never wants to leave. With a OPS of 1110 at home and 659 on the road, I’d be surprised if Carlos ever got on the team plane again.

Craig Monroe, Dmitri Young, and Rondell White all hit for more power at home. However, Young and Monroe hit for a higher average on the road.

With all the fire power at home, and a pitching staff who’s ERA is a half run lower at home, it’s hard to believe the Tigers are struggling to play .500 in their own park.

Home Cooked Stew
So there must be enough Tigers who can’t figure out the park to keep the record down. Nook Logan much prefers to be, well anyplace but Detroit. His OPS is 992 on the road, and only 472 at home. It’s pretty ironic the one park the Tigers need his speed and defense the most, is the one park he can’t do anything offensively.

Switch Switch Hitting
Speaking of Nook, looking at his splits it might be time for him to stop switch hitting. Against left handers his OPS is 895 and against righties it’s 685. If he can hit lefties that well from the right side, I’d imagine that he could hit righties at least as well as the 685 he’s been posting. I know it may have bunt implications (being closer to first, drag bunting, etc.) but I don’t know that the current performance justifies switch hitting.

The Tigers other big lover of southpaws so far has been Pudge. His OPS of 1028 against lefties dwarfs his 676 against lefties. As I’ve talked about before, right handed hitters will generally have an OPS 9% better against lefties than righties. In Pudge’s case I’d expect both numbers to move towards the middle.

Downtime
I apologize for the site being unavailable this morning. As near as I can tell it was down from about 3am until a little after noon. Apparently the problem was with the hosting company. Thanks for your patience.

Verlander
It appears that Justin Verlander has the Florida State League figured out. His latest performance included 9 strike outs and 1 walk over 7 innings. He allowed seven hits and one run to lower his ERA to 1.67. He will surely be promoted to Erie within the next few weeks. After that, it wouldn’t surprise me to see in Detroit as a September call-up. He’s already on the big league roster, and already using an option year so there would be very little downside.


Signings

The Tigers announced the signing of 19 players. They are:


Rd Player Position
7 P.J. Finigan RHP
8 Brendan Wise RHP
10 Kevin Ardoin RHP
11 Anthony Clagget RHP
12 Matt Joyce RF
13 Louis Ott SS
14 Casper Wells RF
16 Michael Hollimon SS
18 Agustin Guzman 2B
19 Burke Badenhop RHP
22 Matthew Norfleet RHP
23 Mark Haske SS
25 Jake Baxter RHP
27 William Rhymes 2B
30 Ryan Roberson 1B
31 Timothy Robertson RHP
32 Christopher Torres C
33 Loren Fraser RHP
35 Jeffrey Hahn RHP

11 Comments

  1. Brian

    June 17, 2005 at 2:43 pm

    I doubt that they will call up Verlander in September unless his innings pitched are below 150 or so. I would think they will want to limit his innings.

  2. Jeff M

    June 17, 2005 at 3:39 pm

    Wouldn’t it still be worth it just to get him fitted for the uniform and eliminate a few butterflies? A relief appearance or two should handle that. Then start next season in AAA as the go-to guy should any of the starters falter.

    That’s all assuming he does well in AA, of course.

  3. Jeff M

    June 17, 2005 at 3:40 pm

    hell, with any luck, he’ll get shellacked in his brief ML appearance and he’ll be motivated to keep working hard.

  4. Chris

    June 17, 2005 at 3:56 pm

    the problem with calling him up this year is it eats in to his service time and thus, he gets arbitration sooner, and in turn can become a free agent quicker.

    The number of days may seem small but 30 extra days could easily make him ready for arbitration and free agency a year earlier. Unless he dominates in AA and he can clearly improve the big league team, theres not much upside to bringing him up.

  5. Bryan

    June 17, 2005 at 4:26 pm

    I agree with Chris here, unless he’s going to make a difference, let him work in Erie. I’m not sure what good bringing him up will do.

    Good update, some interesting stuff.

  6. Brian

    June 18, 2005 at 12:48 pm

    Well he has already been in a Tigers uniform in Spring Training. While not the same thing he still has been around the team a bit and has worked with Cluck some already.

    There isn’t really a reason for the Tigers to rush it with him. IF he can dominate AA he will be on pace to be up at some point next season. That should be good enough at this point. They really need to be careful with injury possibilities. Pitching prospects are so fragile.

    Also Chris is right on with starting the clock, it just wouldn’t be a great idea all around.

  7. Luke

    June 18, 2005 at 1:05 pm

    Hah, they signed burke badenhop… i played high school baseball with him and he played at the uni i’m currently studying at. He won’t do much for him, but he’s another arm for the lower system to eat up.

  8. Boston Fan in Michigan

    June 18, 2005 at 7:09 pm

    Why start the arb clock on Verlander any sooner than we have to?

  9. Joey

    June 18, 2005 at 9:49 pm

    DY is hitting .258. He’s 0 for 5 in tonight’s (6/18). He seems to be swinging for the fences every at bat, his pitch selection is awful, he’s impatient, and opposing pitchers are consistently getting him out with garbage just off the dirt. I also don’t see any indication that he’s making adjustments. What he hell happened to this guy?

  10. Anonymous

    June 19, 2005 at 7:58 pm

    It doesn’t take a weatherman — that was the first step but maybe temperature is related to quality of the team? E.g., maybe indoor teams are worse, or the cold games were against the Yankees and BoSox.

  11. Jason R.

    June 20, 2005 at 1:34 pm

    Keeping an eye on the arbitration clock is always a good idea. But as Billfer dutifully noted, the fact that Verlander is on the 40-man this season means his clock has already started.