Jim Leyland answered questions about one of the most inexplicable managing decisions he’s made this year, batting Timo Perez 3rd. I’m not going to continue to harp on this past this post, but even the thought process for batting Perez third is broken. Here is what Leyland told the Free Press
Leyland gave several reasons for hitting Perez third: It gave him another left-handed bat against Bannister, who has done better against right-handed batters than against lefties. Perez also could bunt and he could score from first on an extra-base hit.
Now I think the Freep mis-stated about Bannister’s splits, but getting the extra lefty bat in the lineup is the only part that made any sense. First, the idea that that your number 3 hitter would be bunting is dumb. Especially when your number 4 hitter is having an MVP season. So you use your number 3 hitter to bunt, opening up a base, and inviting an intentional walk. There is a reason that number 3 hitters don’t bunt.
Second, presuming that Perez could score from first on an extra base hit also presumes that he’d get to first base. He For someone who hasn’t broken the 300OBP barrier since 2003 (when he hit 301) that is foolish.
And if you want to look at all the players on the Tigers roster who could a)bunt and b)score from first on a single and c)bat left handed I see Curtis Granderson, Carlos Guillen, and Ramon Santiago.
Perez was a black hole amongst standout offensive performers last night and the sad thing is he performed exactly as expected.