Game 77: Rangers at Tigers Redux

PREGAME: Nothing’s really changed, same starting pitchers (Kenny Rogers and Kevin Millwood) and all only it’s 20 degrees cooler, half the humidity, and all the clouds are pretty instead of ominous. Oh yeah, and I’ll be at there today.

For more info check out BR’s game preview

Game Time 1:05pm

POSTGAME: Beautiful day for a ball game today, so a 15 minute delay so the umpires could arrive was hardly an inconvenience. I guess that explains the black town car getting a police escort on the Madison ramp at about 12:30.

  • Kenny Rogers was amazing again. I saw the last run he gave up (the one in relief on the last day of the season), as well as the one today. But I also saw 2 of his playoff starts so I don’t think you can blame me for the scoreless inning streak ending.
  • But a couple other streaks continued, most notable was Carlos Guillen’s 11 game RBI streak. Guillen and Magglio Ordonez also both extended their hitting streaks to 14 games.
  • Remember how a couple days ago I questioned the issue of Ordonez turning on a ball? He certainly turned on one today hitting a long drive with home run distance that landed foul in leftfield.
  • Pudge Rodriguez was certainly stymied today. He racked up a ton of swing and misses, and from my vantage point it didn’t look like he was over swinging. He looked to be trying to shoot the ball to right, but contact seemed to be alluding him.
  • Gary Sheffield’s jumps on both the stolen base and wild pitch were incredible. Stealing third he was probably a third of the way before the ball was released, and he seemed to leave as soon as the ball hit the dirt from third base.
  • The Tigers drew 9 walks today, the second time this season they accomplished the feat.
  • And the bullpen was good too, even Todd Jones.

Tigers 5 Rangers 2


  1. cib

    June 28, 2007 at 11:21 am

    I was there yesterday for the monsoon and will be back today!

  2. Kathy

    June 28, 2007 at 1:29 pm

    Kenny looks pretty sharp 1st inning. I have to leave for a party at 2:00. Please, lord, let them win today!

  3. Kevin in Austin

    June 28, 2007 at 2:21 pm

    We need some XBase hits all the way around. Been pretty slow over the past few games.

  4. Kevin in Austin

    June 28, 2007 at 2:28 pm

    Wow. What great baserunning by Sheff.

  5. T Smith

    June 28, 2007 at 2:33 pm

    Monroe: 0-2

  6. Kyle J

    June 28, 2007 at 2:40 pm

    Oakland blew a 3-0 lead on the Indians and lost 5-4. They had runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out in the 9th but couldn’t tie the game.


  7. Anthony

    June 28, 2007 at 2:54 pm

    I’m surprised Monroe hasn’t done anything today. He’s been hitting the cover off the ball lately!

    Seriously, how much longer can they take this? Do you think they’ll do something to get more production out of that position?

  8. Musa D

    June 28, 2007 at 3:09 pm

    Don’t look now, but, after a slow start, trading for Sheffield ranks as one of the best offseason moves in all of baseball. Our only lineup change since last year is adding Sheff, and the offense is so much better with him in the middle of it, getting on base.

    We’ll hear more about it at the halfway point, I’m sure.

  9. T Smith

    June 28, 2007 at 3:11 pm

    The thing that bothers me is he just looks lost at the dish. If he were having good at-bats, that would be one thing. But he looks utterly lost.

  10. T Smith

    June 28, 2007 at 3:11 pm

    Monroe: 0-3

  11. T Smith

    June 28, 2007 at 3:20 pm


    Here comes the drama. Can the bullpen hold a two run lead?

    I feel good about our chances with Durbin.

  12. Nate

    June 28, 2007 at 3:22 pm

    I think that they will give Monroe as long as they gave Shelton last year. We may not like it, but this organization has shown a considerable amount of patience with scuffling starters (Shelton, last summer; Casey, last year after the trade; DY last year; Monroe and Inge, at various points in their respective careers).

  13. Walt

    June 28, 2007 at 3:25 pm

    I hope we get to see Durbin get more 3 inning saves. At least the bullpen could be reliable around 1/3 of the time.

  14. Dave T.

    June 28, 2007 at 3:32 pm

    Big swat by sheff!

  15. Chris in Nashville

    June 28, 2007 at 3:34 pm

    I’m listening to the game online…but that sounded like a shot from Sheff….SWEET….and I couldn’t agree more with Musa D…Sheff is the best offseason move we could have made and I didn’t think it was…but I was VERY wrong. He’s made this offense complete and has taught some players how to be disciplined at the plate.

  16. Kathy

    June 28, 2007 at 3:37 pm

    Walked in the door and saw Sheff hit his HR.

  17. Dave T.

    June 28, 2007 at 3:40 pm

    Sheff makes the whole offense work. I can’t wait for the “Maggs special season made possible by Sheffield” columns from the daily newspapers.
    Is there a silver slugger award for DH?

  18. T Smith

    June 28, 2007 at 3:43 pm

    Is this the National League, or what? Two intentional walks to Casey… Oh, yeah. Monroe’s on deck.

    Monore: 0-4 today (0-12 at bats)

  19. Walewander

    June 28, 2007 at 3:43 pm

    You know you’re struggling when they intentionally walk Sean “One Home Run” Casey to pitch to you… twice.

  20. Chris in Nashville

    June 28, 2007 at 3:43 pm

    Monroe 0-4..but he’s making contact. I know everyone is down on him right now…but this guy didn’t forget how to play. Leyland said before the game that he’s got a knee problem, but it almost sounded like an excuse. That being said, this guys WILL turn it around, he’s too good not too. Think back in April when Sheff/Inge/Casey were struggling big time…now look all of those guys. Feeling comfortable at the plate is very streaky, and he’s in a bad stretch…so everyone lay off the poor guy….he needs to produce, but he will. Look how good our offense is without him, so when someone else gets cold, he’ll pick us up.

  21. T Smith

    June 28, 2007 at 3:48 pm

    Chris in Nashville & Walewander:

    You’re both right on money with your Sheff comments. Not only does he help Maggs but he also helps Guillen and, just like dominoes, everybody right down the line. It all starts with Sheff. I love the guy.

  22. T Smith

    June 28, 2007 at 3:52 pm

    Chris in Nashville:

    I’m gonna hold you to that on Monroe.

  23. Walewander

    June 28, 2007 at 4:01 pm

    Dear Jim Leyland,

    Please leave Chad Durbin in.

    Your Pal,


  24. Dave T.

    June 28, 2007 at 4:02 pm

    Monroe has a very long swing. It gets out of whack easily.

  25. Walewander

    June 28, 2007 at 4:03 pm

    Aw crap.

  26. Chris in Nashville

    June 28, 2007 at 4:05 pm

    You are right Dave T…that is his problem….but trying to change his swing during the season would be no good at all. He tried to change his stance to be more like Sheffield a few weeks ago and I think it screwed his timing up. I’d like to see him be a little more quiet at the plate…not as much hand movement before the’s worked for Grandy. I’m REALLY nervous with Todd in….2 up 2 down though…getting him back to what he was at the end of last year would be HUGE.

  27. Walt

    June 28, 2007 at 4:07 pm

    I can breathe again. ’bout time Jonesy

  28. Kathy

    June 28, 2007 at 4:07 pm

    Ahhh! my prayers were answered.

  29. Ben in Denver

    June 28, 2007 at 4:09 pm

    Ahhh, there we go. 5 runs on 6 hits. Grandy walks twice. A hold and a save from the pen. I’ll take it.

  30. Anthony

    June 28, 2007 at 4:14 pm

    Chris – What about Monroe’s career leads you to believe that he’s ‘too good not to turn it around’? When Casey was struggling, I looked at his career average and could see that he’s hit 300 consistently for a very long time. monroe has done nothing at the major league level to make me feel like he will be anything more than average at best this year.

    He’s just not that good.

  31. Matt in Toledo

    June 28, 2007 at 4:15 pm

    Nine walks? Jesus, I bet there were WEEKS last season where they didn’t draw that many.

  32. Walewander

    June 28, 2007 at 4:43 pm

    Good bounce back win. Very necessary.

    Let’s tee of on the Twins and Indians! (I hope).

  33. cib

    June 28, 2007 at 4:51 pm

    Back at the office. (working hard!) A pretty fun game to watch. I find that I don’t feel nervous with Durbin coming out of the bullpen.

  34. Chris in Nashville

    June 28, 2007 at 5:02 pm

    Anthony-if you have watched this team over the last few years…you know Monroe has had some big hits in his career. His career numbers aren’t great, I’ll give you that, but he hit over .275 twice in his career and has over 100 career HR’s. I’m not saying he’s going to turn into Maggs in the 2nd half, but I think he will get hot fairly soon.

  35. Chris in Nashville

    June 28, 2007 at 5:08 pm

    Good call Matt-this team is unstoppable when they walk..if you noticed, they didn’t walk a lot against the Braves or the first 2 games in this series, and they didn’t score as many runs as they had been. While they only got 5 runs today, the offense looked (or at least sounded) back to normal today.

  36. Dave Wagner

    June 28, 2007 at 5:21 pm

    The thing that disturbs me about Monroe is that his performance is genuinely a result of his skill level rather than luck this year. His batting average on balls in play is a pretty average 28% – the problem is that he simply isn’t making contact at even a mediocre rate (71%, right now).

  37. Chris in Nashville

    June 28, 2007 at 5:29 pm

    I also think that teams have made adjustments on him and he has made the correct adjustments to counter that. He’s a first ball, fastball hitter, and he’s not getting that anymore, at least one that he can drive. It seems like he pops up every first pitch now when he swings because he isn’t getting that good pitch to hit.

  38. Chris in Nashville

    June 28, 2007 at 5:30 pm

    I meant he hasn’t made the correct adjustments in that last post

  39. KS

    June 28, 2007 at 6:22 pm

    Monroe’s OBP the last few years…

  40. KS

    June 28, 2007 at 6:23 pm

    Oops, let’s try that again, Monroe’s OBP the last few years, 2003 .287, 2004 .337, 2005 .322, that great 2006 year .301, 2007 .

  41. KS

    June 28, 2007 at 6:27 pm

    Having internet issues here, Monroe’s OBP 2007 .281. His On base plus slugging compared to the league average, and consider the fact that he’s playing a corner outfield position which usually is a highly productive offensive position. With 100 being equal to the league average and numbers above being better than league average and numbers below being worse. 2003 95, 2004 115, 2005 104, 2006 100, 2007 82. Never in this guys career has he been “to good a player”. He’s a nice 4th outfielder to have who the Tigers happen to have starting for the last few years. He’d probably be a nice platoon option against left handers. With a slightly worse defender in Marcus Thames, who’s a superior offensive player rotting on the bench, it’s hard to justify Monroe continuing to be allowed to waste at bats.

  42. Walewander

    June 28, 2007 at 7:28 pm

    This sounds crazy – but a Jacque Jones-Thames platoon in LF would actually be pretty decent, and the Cubbies are would take a bag of balls for Jones at this point.

  43. Bob S.

    June 28, 2007 at 7:29 pm

    I questioned the Tigers acquiring Sheffield,mostly based on alleged character issues in his past,but also because of age and injury.However,he does seem to be a good baseball citizen and the effect he has on making the batting order around him stronger is unquestionable.Today,I was more impressed by the way he manufactured the Tigers first run than by the home run-which was a pretty impressive shot.
    With the way the offense is producing lately,Leland has the luxury of keeping Monroe in the line up to try and fix his swing.Myself,I think I’d avail myself of the luxury of having a guy like Thames on the bench and sit Monroe down-he doesn’t look like he has any confidence at the plate right now.

  44. Mike R

    June 28, 2007 at 8:08 pm

    I and hoping against hope that Monroe goes on a monster tear in July (July and August he seems to hit the best) and has at least some amount of value.

  45. Chris in Nashville

    June 28, 2007 at 8:31 pm

    Wow KS…you really disagree! That is fine…all valid points and I can’t argue with the fact that he doesn’t get on base enough. But the guy drives in runs and gets cluth hits. In the same years you are talking about here are his RBI numbers: 2003: 70, 2004: 72, 2005: 89, 2006: 92, 2007: 41. I’m sorry, but show me a “4th OF” better than that. He’s not your typical “moneyball” guy, but you need guys like that on the team. Good debate here guys.

  46. KS

    June 28, 2007 at 9:25 pm

    I guess I’m not a guy Chris who gets involved in counting stats, meaning yearly totals. I could care less about RBI totals, getting on base, and slugging for a high average I would prefer for my corner outfielder. RBI totals to me are nearly meaningless, they usually represent the success of other players on your team getting on, and advancing on base preceding you. I would venture to say, that most 4th outfielders, if given the number of plate appearances Monroe had could come close to his RBI totals, if hitting in the same lineup.
    Walewander, I’m with you on the Jones idea, he’d be a nice platoon option, and to be able to bat a left handed bat with decent gap power 8th would definitely be nice. That would give you 4 left handers against right handed pitching.

  47. Anthony

    June 28, 2007 at 10:43 pm

    Chris, of course I know that he has some big hits. That makes him a better choice than another corner outfielder hitting 230. The fact that he has a few clutch homers in his career does not make him above average overall. I agree with KS.

    He’s the best fourth outfielder in the league. He should not be starting on a contender. His defense is not good. He can’t hit.

    All he does is hit a couple clutch homeruns, which is not really that big of a feat. Lots of players get clutch hits, its the nature of the game.

    I’m pretty sure there are plenty of players in AAA that would give you the same stats that Monroe is right now. Clevelen, for example, probably would. And he wouldn’t make the kind of mistakes Monroe does defensively.

    My point of contention is that the Tigers should have traded him in the offseason, his value was as high as it will ever be. They could have ripped someone off.

    One more question, Chris. Is Monroe worth the 4.75 million?

  48. Chris in Nashville

    June 28, 2007 at 10:52 pm

    I suppose Dave Dombrowski does count season long stats and that is why he got $4.75 million.

  49. Kathy

    June 28, 2007 at 11:22 pm

    Craig is in a terrible slump, but at least he’s hitting the ball. I’m going to hold my opinion about him and let’s see what he does in the upcoming 10 days. That was so pathetic when Casey got walked twice to pitch to Monroe. Maybe he’ll break out of it this weekend.

  50. T Smith

    June 28, 2007 at 11:52 pm

    Monroe is a good 3rd OFer on a team that isn’t expecting to contend, i.e. 2003, 2004 Tigers… which is why he is here. He was able to land a job with the Tigers organization after the Rangers 86ed him. He could easily land a job with the Royals or Nats, or some team like that. Last year (when it was clear the Tigers were a legitimate contending team) there was talk about trading him right about this time of year, and all of sudden he had a monster July & August, including quite a dramatic grand slam against the White Sox, not only a clutch hit, but also the turning point in of a clutch game. Monroe also had alot of similar clutch hits last summer….

    The thing is: I don’t see a repeat this summer. Pitchers now know how to pitch to him. And, from what I can judge, he’s a player that lets slumps and streaks get into his head. This year, the Tigers are the team to beat. The opposition will attack every weakness of this team to win, and they will get to Monroe. I understand the sentiment of giving the guy the benefit of the doubt, especially since he was part of the magic last year, but honestly, I just don’t think he’s a OF position player for a contending team.

    He’ll get a good fastball here and there to drive when the bases are empty, but I foresee a lot of Ks, pop ups, and weak outs when the at-bats really matter.

  51. ron

    June 29, 2007 at 12:17 am

    I guess Monroe is the only guy left to pick on. Me personally , I think the ballboy is coming up a little short.

  52. David

    June 29, 2007 at 1:56 am

    Monroe is still on the team for what he does in August.

    He is by far my least favorite Tiger and a guy I dubbed along time ago Craig Sloproe for his half-assedness in the outfield.

    By the way I was not happy when we acquired Shef in the least, but after seeing what he has meant to this lineup as a whole and hitters by themselves, his impact is undeniable.

    I really thank G-d that Daniel Cabrera threw at him because that got him and the Tigers going.

    If you read his book (it’s really good btw) you can relate to him better and see where he is comming from.

  53. Mike R

    June 29, 2007 at 2:18 am

    I don’t know how anyone could’ve hated that deal we made for Sheff. Yes, the 3 year contract is probably a big time gamble the next 2 years since he’s already 38, but he walks more then he K’s, hits for power and a high average. And at the DH/some OF time in interleague play/relieving Maggs here and there, his body will be saved. We gave up a lazy, tempermental, injury proned pitcher as the main focus of the deal. Kevin Whelan is dominating right now in the Yanks system but I’d make that deal everyday of the week for a HOFer to hit/walk in front of Magglio and Guillen.

    Also, on the Monroe clutch thing, Marco Scutaro of Oakland has something like the 2nd or 3rd most walk-off hits, only behind David Ortiz. And Scutaro makes $1.55 million dollars and he’s a career .257 hitter. Just because someone’s “clutch” doesn’t mean that they’re worth $4.775 million.

    Oh, and in Close and Late situations (directly from Monroe is hitting: .256 with 3 HR, 12 RBI, 2 BB, 12 K’s in 39 AB’s.

    In 2005 he hit: .183 avg, .270 obp, .280 slg, 1 HR, 11 RBI, 15 K’s in 93 AB’s in close and late situations.

    In 2004 he hit: .276 with 12 RBI, 17 K’s, 4 BB’s and only slugged .345 in close and late situations.

    In 2003 he hit: .157/.247/.333 with 10 RBI, 7 BB, 18 K’s in close and late situations.

    “Clutch” is hardly something I’d call him as there’s more cases of him failing in the “clutch” then there are him being respectable in these situations. Also, numbers like these always fluctuate from year to year, much like average with RISP, as it’s sample size and luck.

  54. Anthony

    June 29, 2007 at 8:21 am

    Mike R, you are right on the money.

  55. Bob S.

    June 29, 2007 at 8:50 am

    At the risk of re-opening an old debate,I don’t believe that “clutch” exists (I think it’s an invention of announcers and other observers with a penchant for hyperbole).But if it does,and Monroe’s got it,then the simple solution is to sit him in favor of Thames(or Clevelen-good suggestion)and only bring him in to hit in “clutch” situations where he’s guaranteed to produce.
    And Monroe is hardly the last guy left to pick on.Pull any bullpen name out of a hat.

  56. Dave T.

    June 29, 2007 at 9:25 am

    Can we start hyping the Verlander Santana match-up tonight?

  57. T Smith

    June 29, 2007 at 9:27 am

    So Sheff bargained his suspention to 2 days instead of one, and will sit out the Sat & Sun games against Minny. My question is, if he was just going to give up (I think he had a case), why not just sit out the games in Interleague play, when Leyland could have given him the days off anyway?

    There’s gonna be a big hole in the lineup on Saturday and Sunday. I hope we can bring our A game.

  58. T Smith

    June 29, 2007 at 9:29 am


    If the ballboy stops producing with a 4.75 M contract I’ll gladly start ranking on him, too.

  59. Chris in Nashville

    June 29, 2007 at 9:39 am

    All I was trying to do was to get people to realize that Monroe isn’t the worst player in baseball like some people were making him out to be because he is in a slump right now. Do I think he’s a great player? No. Can he bat 8th and play LF on a WS caliber team? I think so. Obviously most of you guys don’t feel the same way. That’s fine. It’s all in good fun. His numbers aren’t great, I just think he is one of those guys that are worth more to a team than just his numbers. Dave T has the right mentality here..this matchup tonight is CLASSIC….I can’t wait to watch this one tonight……the timing of Sheff’s appeal didn’t work out too good, I wish we could have him this weekend.

  60. Ryan S

    June 29, 2007 at 10:17 am

    “The thing is: I don’t see a repeat this summer. Pitchers now know how to pitch to him. And, from what I can judge, he’s a player that lets slumps and streaks get into his head.” (this is from T Smith’s post above – I don’t know how to do that quote-in-the-dark-box thing).

    I think you’ve hit it on the head here. I think there’s a lost confidence thing going on with Monroe right now. Maybe it’s a funk he’ll shake and hit decently in the second half, but I’m with the skeptics on this one. He seems lost at the plate. It would be interesting to see what Thames could do with some more regular playing time.

    I think confidence is a big part of the bullpen problem right now as well. With Rodney, it seemed liked you could almost sense when he was going to melt down before he even did. Like he knew it. Hopefully some of these bullpen moves (though they’ve done nothing to actually improve the talent level of the pen) will shake things up enough to get some of that confidence back. I see Durbin as having already made an impact there with two strong appearances.

    Of course Jones will always be Jones…I don’t think that’s a confidence thing. I think it’s a borderline talent thing…

  61. ron

    June 29, 2007 at 10:26 am

    T Smith, does everything have to come down to money? He’s Marilyn Monroe’s son for crying out loud!

  62. ron

    June 29, 2007 at 10:35 am

    Lighten up people. We’re still in first place. The Tigers do not need to make any major changes at this juncture. See how things shake out at the end of July.

  63. Nate

    June 29, 2007 at 10:51 am

    Here are “third outfielders” from some of 2006’s playoff teams, and their OPS+:

    Dave Roberts, SDP: 100
    Melky Cabrera, NYA: 100
    Craig Monroe, DET: 100
    Juan Encarnacion, STL: 94

    I don’t know who you want to consider the LF for the Twins last year, but who ever he was, he wasn’t very good:

    Lew Ford, MIN: 57
    Tyner, MIN: 84

    Oakland and Los Angeles had a below average outfielder, but it was their centerfielder, so I didn’t include them on the list. The Mets had a thoroughly above average outfield, when everyone was healthy. I also didn’t include So Taguchi who saw a lot of time in LF for St. Louis, because they more or less replaced him at the end of the year.

    Right now, in 2007, Monroe is at 80 OPS+. That would make him worse than any non-Twin on the list. I doubt he’ll finish 2007 that poorly, or, if he does, I doubt that he’ll finish the year as the starter.

    Like I said in an earlier thread, I think Monroe is receiving the Shelton treatment. Assuming the team continues to win, he’ll get to the end of July to prove that he deserves to be the starter. It just a little more frustrating with Monroe, because there are two adequate in-house solutions to the problem in Thames and Rayburn.

  64. Coach Jim

    June 29, 2007 at 10:58 am

    I agree that D-Mo is not a bonus at the plate, but I’ll disagree with most of you in the field. I think he’s a very good outfielder. He had some trouble the last couple days after sitting out 2 weeks in the NL. Apart from that I’ve seen him make some really long runs to catch balls…and I would trust him to catch balls at the fence over anyone else on the team save Grandy.

    With that said, now on to the hitting. He’s terrible. When he has 2 strikes on him, I tell my son to watch for the low-outside slider. When pitchers are smart enough to throw it, he strikes out. If they throw a fastball, he hits it hard. Jeeze, why hasn’t every pitcher in baseball picked up on this yet?

    The next point to make: Omar Infante is a better outfielder, and a better hitter. Hmmmm…

    Ryan Raburn deserves a shot. He can also be an infielder, like Infante…that helps.

    If Monroe unexpectedly goes on the disabled list with a “tired arm” or something fishy, remember you heard it here first.

  65. Nate

    June 29, 2007 at 11:32 am

    If the ballboy stops producing with a 4.75 M contract I’ll gladly start ranking on him, too.

    Well, we’ll get our chance to see what the ballboy can do this weekend. From what I hear, he’s filling in for Sheffield. Leyland likes his hustle when he’s scrambling to pick up a broken bat, or bring the umpire new balls.

  66. Kathy

    June 29, 2007 at 12:23 pm

    Why didn’t Sheff take his suspension days during interleague play? Well, since he appealed the suspension, the ruling came down after interleague ended. At least, I think that’s what happened. Correct me if I’m wrong.

  67. Ryan S

    June 29, 2007 at 1:08 pm

    I think I read somewhere that his appeal hearing was supposed to happen this week (today maybe?) But he was told that if he dropped the appeal, they’d reduce the suspension from 3 games to 2. I guess he jumped at that chance, but it wasn’t on the table during interleague.

    If anyone knows a more accurate version of the story, let us know. But I read something to this effect (can’t remember where).

  68. Ryan S

    June 29, 2007 at 1:17 pm

  69. T Smith

    June 29, 2007 at 1:21 pm


    Not everything boils down to money. So let me re-phrase: If the ballboy stops producing at $500 a week (or however much he makes) I’ll start ranking on him, too. That said, I’ll lay off Monroe till the end of July — per comments of Nate and others — but if there is no improvement by then, the gloves come off.


    If you were the one who first brought up the Shelton comparison, congrats for the insight, you are being cited in Bless You Boys published June 28…


    I was wondering the very same thing about Sheff. But the way I understand it, there wasn’t a “ruling” but rather, a plea-bargain (so to speak) by which Sheff agreed to the lesser suspension in lieu of the hearing. Now… I may be wrong about that… and if I am, somebody correct me. But if I’m not wrong… you’re right. Why not just take the games during Interleague? That’s frustrating. We need Sheff during the Minny series.

    Coach Jim:

    You’re right. Monroe is better defensively than people are giving him credit for. He’s also above-average in assists. But there are some errors/missed plays just that seem to haunt him. Remember the Game 5 WS play he missed (I think it was Game 5) that cost us the game? It wasn’t ruled an error .. and it was a tough play. But if you make that play, you’re allowed whatever OPS you want.

    You could even argue that play cost us the series itself — if you subscribe to momentum theory going back to Comerica against a mediocre baseball team. Anyway, those are the plays our AAA LFer needs to make to justify his 8 hole in the lineup.

    I’ll mark it down that I heard it first from you. Tired Arm sounds as good as any. I think they’ll go with knee tendionitius, though. They’ve already hinted at knee problems. I like and agree with your in-house list — you can also add Clevlen to the list with Infante, Thames, Rayburn.

  70. colin

    June 29, 2007 at 3:01 pm

    As much as I’d like to um…replace players at replacement level (Monroe is at 0 BRAR), you guys are going to have to chill out on Monroe for a month or two. I wonder if his knee really is hurting because even his defensive rate stats are down so far this year (Monroe is also at 0 FRAR).

    Clevlen’s hitting .202/.296/.296 in Toledo right now so I’d bet on Raburn getting the call-up first.

  71. Matt in Toledo

    June 29, 2007 at 3:22 pm

    Clevlen’s actually hitting in the GCL right now because he’s rehabbing from a broken finger. If they call him up over Raburn, even if Clevlen is healthy, Raburn might be the next Mud Hen to break somebody’s face.

  72. colin

    June 29, 2007 at 4:11 pm

    Whoops, you’re right, thanks Matt. Make that a .225/.307/.337 2007 composite line.

  73. Mike R

    June 29, 2007 at 4:39 pm

    If Craig’s knee is hurting, can we get Marcus Thames some AB’s? What does he have to do to get regular playing time? He’s cheaper and can put up the same power numbers as Craig. It’s not like we’re protecting Casey from LHP with Thames because Casey’s hitting .314 of LHP.

    If the reason Monroe is sucking is because of his knee (which is likely, but i wonder what the excuse is for, you know, his entire career when he’s hitting .260 with a .306 career OBP) then we need someone in there that won’t hurt the lineup as much. He’s hitting .203 in June and if he’s injured his July isn’t going to be any better.

  74. Nathan

    June 29, 2007 at 5:42 pm

    T Smith: Thanks for the heads up. I think I must be the guy that they’re talking about, since they link to this thread. That’s pretty cool.