Do the Tigers need to change their lineup? Jim Leylandis certainly considering it. The lineup question was one I was going to pursue yesterday before I ran out of time. Last night’s 3 single effort certainly has stirred the pot to the point of action.
The obvious problem with the Tigers lineup is that their best hitter, Carlos Guillen, is hitting 5th instead of the more conventional third. It hasn’t bothered me too much as I rationalize that it helps clean-up hitter Magglio Ordonez see better pitches, and Ordonez was better at getting on base than the 1 & 2 hitters late in the season.
But with Ivan Rodriguez hitting behind Guillen, guy who is hitting the worst in the lineup is behind the guy who is hitting the best. Guillen won’t get anything to hit, and a walk won’t help much if a 4-6-3 double play is right around the corner.
If it were up to me, tonight’s lineup would be Granderson-Polanco-Guillen-Ordonez-Monroe-Casey-Rodriguez-Inge-Bonderman. And really Monroe and Casey could be flipped. Both have showed signs of life this series
Now Leyland will probably make a change tonight, but it won’t be that drastic. It may just be moving Polanco to 2nd and Casey to 3rd dropping Monroe down to Casey’s slot. It’s a lineup that Leyland is comfortable with, but it won’t address the problem of having Guillen and Pudge paired.
Now the funny thing is that it takes a game like last night’s to prompt the change. In all reality the lineup order last night made no difference. There’s no way to optimize a lineup that produces 3 baserunners all night.
UPDATE: Via Danny Knobler tonight’s lineup: Granderson cf, Monroe lf, Guillen ss, Ordonez rf, Casey 1b, Rodriguez c, Polanco 2b, Inge 3b, Bonderman p.
I can certainly buy into this lineup. Guillen is between guys who might do something positive, and he’s also between 2 righthanders which may discourage the use of a lefty reliever to turn him around.