I have a number of posts planned to take a look at the 2005 season. The first of which is a look at runs created by position.
I apologize for the size of the table below, but I wanted to take at how productive each position was this year compared to last year. I also wanted show who was producing what. The 2004 season is on the left, and 2005 is on the right.
(EDIT: I’ll try to fix this later, but the table is unreadable when you view it in a browswer because it is too big. If you want to see it, the best bet is to right-click and save it then view the JPG. Sorry about making it so difficult)
(EDIT 2: In my latest attempt to fix it, I uploaded an older version. I’m going to take the table down at this point, and I’ll fix it this evening. Sorry again)
(EDIT 3: OK, I think it’s fixed.)
What becomes readily evident is that the Tigers failed to improve significantly at any position offensively, while experiencing significant declines at catcher, shortstop, and to a lesser extent centerfield.
While declines at shortstop were to be expected, getting 50% of the previous year’s production was a significant drop-off. The decline is of course attributable to Carlos Guillen’s injury, the fact that he probably couldn’t reproduce the previous year, and Omar Infante’s poor play.
Catcher was the other large drop-off. Like with Guillen, expecting Pudge to reproduce the previous season – regardless of the weight loss – wasn’t realistic. However, Pudge’s inability to take a walk, his dip in batting average, and his resulting slugging percentage proved to be a huge hole in the lineup.
I was actually surprised to see that from an offensive perspective, the Tigers got 20 fewer runs from centerfield. I was a huge proponent of letting Alex Sanchez go. Unfortunately, the Ordonez injury forced Nook Logan into the lineup where he consumed 57% of the plate apperances despite poor production. While Curtis Granderson was a very nice addition, he was only in center a quarter of the time.
First base was an interesting position in that despite terrible numbers from Carlos Pena the first two months of the season, the position ended up essentially the same as 2004. Thanks to Pena’s renaissance and Chris Shelton’s emergence the team managed to get acceptable run generation.
Aside from catcher, the position that was most disappointing was right field. While declines were expected at short and catcher, right field was to be the position where the biggest gains would be made. Unfortunately Magglio Ordonez only had half of the PA’s in right. And while his production was decent, it wasn’t at the level that most had hoped for. So rightfield was pretty much the same as 2004, but the Tigers were definitely counting on more production.
When looking at the offense performances from this perspective, it’s hard to see how this team would be expected to win more games than last year. I’ll be taking additional looks at the offense, as well as the defense and pitching in the coming weeks.