Sheffield activated?

UPDATE: Sheffield has been reinstated and Larish has been optioned to Toledo.

There’s been no official word from the Tigers yet, but it appears that Gary Sheffield is Detroit bound. According to the Lakeland Ledger, Sunday’s game was Sheffield’s last rehab outing and he left to join the team.

During Sheffield’s rehab stint he only had 2 hits, both homers, in 13 at-bats. And in typical Sheffield fashion he drew 6 walks while striking out just once.

Presumably this would mean Jeff Larish is optioned back to Toledo. And hopefully this doesn’t impact Marcus Thames playing time.

(Hat tip to Kathy who posted this link in the comments)

62 thoughts on “Sheffield activated?”

  1. He was just starting to heat up a little bit right before he got hurt…hopefully he can pick up where he left off. At least he’ll get on base.

  2. I really don’t mind Sheffield coming back so much, but I really don’t want him taking Guillen’s 3-hole spot. One of the reasons for the Tiger’s better offensive consistency this month is having Carlos occupying that part of the order. He has been very clutch and a big improvement over Sheffield this season.

    If were Leyland, I would experiment in his few games by having him bat 9th in the order, as a back-door leadoff guy. If he doesn’t hit, he’ll at least draw walks and can run the bases as well as anybody. That can give Granderson and Polanco an opportunity to drive in runs in the latter innings.

  3. I wouldn’t be opposed to a lineup of:


    versus lefties the rest of the way. No matter what happens, Sheff needs to DH so Marcus can play LF. And can Magglio get a day off sometime? like full day off.

  4. hopefully he can get hot however the tigers have done very well without him and larish has hit well with men on base…

  5. Sheffield should bat no higher than #6. (Leadoff against left-handers is acceptable, too.) I’d hope that for as much as Leyland seems to believe having a stable lineup is important, he wouldn’t screw with the top of the lineup that’s consistently produced runs during the last couple weeks.

  6. Interestingly, Sheffield in his career has seen very little action as leadoff man, but has put up numbers there eerily similar to 2008 Gary, albeit with a much nicer BA. At #9 in somewhat more action, the numbers are a little better still.

    Where Sheffield seems to suffer in the lineup, at least according to a couple hundred career plate appearances, is batting in the 6-7-8 spots. For this and other reasons, I would not put him low in the order. Even if you go slow and don’t play him every game right away (can’t see this, really, when you don’t want him on the field and don’t need a right-handed pinch hitter much), I say put him to the test where the test matters. I don’t like him taking Guillen’s spot, but it’s better than having him take walks in front of Pudge or Renteria.

  7. He could take walks in front of June 2008 I-Rod, though. That guy is tearing the cover off the ball of late (.348/.426/.478 in June). I figure if I’m going to criticize Senor Rodriguez all the time, I should probably compliment him when he’s going well too.

  8. “Where Sheffield seems to suffer in the lineup, at least according to a couple hundred career plate appearances, is batting in the 6-7-8 spots.”

    Ah, the proverbial chicken and the egg rears its ugly head (and oblongness). Was Sheffield struggling and rightly sent to the bottom of the order? Or was Sheffield sent to the bottom of the order and thus struggled? Can we know?

  9. I-Rod has a .545 BAbip over the last 14 days. That’s kinda freaky. Isn’t it?

    As hot as he is right now, at least in terms of getting on base, I don’t want anyone in front of him but Renteria. In fact, Pudge and Edgar can alternate 8-9 so they can be GDP buddies.

  10. Sean: I definitely agree with you. I figured I should point out that I-Rod is having a good June since I give him grief so often. You know, yin and yang or something.

  11. Brian

    It should be easy to investigate. My guess at this point is that Sheffield was at 6-7-8 mostly early in his career with the Brewers. So maybe we shouldn’t read any more recent “attitude” thing into his low-in-the-order stats. Although it still could have been attitude, based on what I hear about his early years there.

    Also, I notice that Sheff wasn’t always the big walk guy. Took him 5-6 years to break out big that way. There’s a guy on the Tigers now that they should be looking at as the Sheffield they get to keep for 10+ years. He’s learning to walk more. I’d like to see him at #3 where I think he belongs.

    Lineup of the day:


    Actually, Sheffield needs to tank, and quickly, so I can bat Carlos leadoff. Yeah. It’s all coming together, slowly but surely.

  12. I have to wonder why the Tigers haven’t announced it yet. It’s kinda strange, yes? What’s the holdup? Conceivably, Sheffield could be in the lineup as soon as tonight.


    I do agree with you about # 3… somewhat. The only thing is: the Tigers have seemed to find a groove with Guillen # 3 that did not exist with Guillen # 6.

    Here’s a gopher for somebody who has the resources: What is the Tiger’s w/l record when Guillen bats #3 vs. Guillen batting # 6? Better yet, how many runs does Guillen score at # 3 vs. # 6? My hunch is these numbers are going to be very lopsided.

    Granted, Sheffield was injured (or sorta injured) — but just sayin’. It’d be hard to mess with something that’s working.

    That said, if Sheffield is “back” to form — he belongs in # 3. See 2007 batting champion if there is any doubt about this. (The way I see it, Maggs probably owns Sheffield quite a few steak dinners, as Rod would say).

  13. Seems to me like they usually don’t announce roster changes until two or three hours before that day’s game, an hour or so before they announce the lineup.

  14. It is almost certain that the Tigers have a better record with Guillen at #3, since they have a much better record (21-15) without Sheffield.

  15. Wow, Sean. good stuff. Not at all what I was expecting either.

    (Duh. Now I get it. Inge and Pudge and Renteria are just that good!)

  16. Actually, it wasn’t until Bonderman got hurt that the Tigers started winning. The Tigers were 3 -7 just after Sheff got hurt. Then went on a 12 – 3 run when Bonderman got hurt.

    Last year, Bonderman was 10-1 on July 23 when the Tigers (59-38) were last playing to win. Bonderman and the Tigers then went into a funk that started on July 24. Bonderman went 1-8 for the rest of the year while the Tigers stunk (29-36) for the rest of the year too.

    If there is a cancer in the clubhouse, it could be Bonderman, and not Sheffield.

  17. Despite the saber-numbers making sense, JL is not going to bat Gary Sheffield in the leadoff spot. And, due to ego, is most likely to plug him right back into the middle of our lineup where his GDP’s are most helpful.

    Personally, if he must play, then please hit him 5 or 6 and don’t take ANY swings away from Marcus Thames. In fact, when MT needs a day off his feet, he DHes and Gary can sit.

  18. Chief: If Bonderman was a cancer in the clubhouse, odds are they wouldn’t have hung his jersey in the dugout as a show of support. Not only that, Bondo was pitching very well his last few starts before the injury. So I don’t think that’s the case.

  19. maybe they are just pitching in memory of (not-dead) Bonderman, and that has allowed them to finally show some chemistry.

  20. Ramon Santiago was the cancer. Check the team’s record since he separated the chip on his shoulder. Note that no Santiago jersey was hung up in the dughouse, either.

    Case closed. Santiago is outta here. Neifi Perez, your skip is calling.

  21. Another thing to think about….

    I wonder what Magglio’s average has been since Sheff’s been on the DL. Ever since that 19 run explosion against the Twinkies, I’ve watched Maggs BA gradually drop (granted it is hard to keep at a .330+ clip all season).

    It seems he hasn’t been as hot with Guillen in the 3 spot as Sheffield.

    Does Maggs get better pitches with Sheff batting in front of him as opposed to Carlos? Does Gary demand more respect from pitchers than Carlos does?

  22. There may also be a strong sense of group hatred toward Bonderman. Hanging the jersey was perhaps a kind of effigy. With the Bondo-hatred finally out in the open, the emotions were free to flow, and the team was united in a common cause. Very cathartic.

  23. NoNon: Well, you may be right. I tend to think Magglio’s mini-slump has more to do with what the numbers geeks would call “random statistical fluctuation”, though. In August/Sept. last year Maggs raked to a tune of .393/.445/.692 (Aug) and .393/.466/.584 (Sept) when Sheffield was MIA.

  24. NoNon, I don’t think Magglio’s rather mild slump is connected with either Sheffield or Guillen. I think it has more to do with Bonderman. Or Santiago. Maybe both!

  25. I like Bonderman. I was just trying to steer criticism away from Sheff. Many of the Tigers past problems were not his fault.

    Anyways, Bonderman does have more influence on the outcome of the games. If he pitches bad, the bullpen gets over worked, and then a snowball effect rolls over into other games. It’s not completely Bonderman’s fault either. Verlander, Rogers, and Robertson were equally to blame.

    All Sheff can do is sit on the bench, take his swings when he’s up, then go back to the bench. All a DH can do is help the team score runs. He has no influence on anything else.

  26. Well, it would have been nice to see Larish at 1B just once, even if he does stink there. Did I blink and miss it?

  27. Look carefully when Bonderman comes back next year. I’m thinking it might be an impostor. In a few years he’ll marry an heiress, leave the Tygers, and resurface with his own team, Jeremy Bonderman and… Swings?

  28. I think the backlash against Sheff is a combination of the fact that a) he sucked (or was injured depending on your viewpoint) and b) by sucking yet still being in the lineup he was taking AB’s away from Mr. Country Funk, who is a house of fire at press time. I’d blame that on the guy who writes the lineup cards. What’s his name? Anyway, I think that ultimately Sheffield’s presence will bolster the lineup since he does get on base a lot. As long as the starting pitching keeps on keepin’ on, they should be fine.

  29. Sean – I think you’re overlooking the obvious here. Bonderman is Keyser Soze. Or perhaps Randall Stevens if you’re more of a fan of Shawshank…

  30. Why must the clubhouse (dughouse) always have a cancer? Can’t a clubhouse just get a rash or suffer from dizzy spells? Can’t a clubhouse just contract a Statistically Transmitted Disease? No, anything wrong and right away it’s a cancer. Must suck to be a clubhouse.

  31. Chris – I’m old and out of touch. Who’s Keyser Soze? Shawshank makes me think of the book and movie, both of which I’m familiar with, but Randall Stevens doesn’t ring a bell. I have this sinking feeling there’s a new band or TV show called Shawshank that’s all the rage now.

    I’m so culturally marginalized I still make Beatles jokes.

  32. Yo, what’s up with the freaky extra submit comment thing at the top of this page now? Is it my browser?

  33. Keyser Soze = the mysterious villian (Kevin Spacey) in the ‘Usual Suspects’

    Randall Stevens = the fake identity that Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) created in ‘Shawshank Redemption’

    I’ll keep my pop culture references restricted to the 60’s hencetoforth.

  34. “Why must the clubhouse (dughouse) always have a cancer?”

    I don’t want to say that Ramon Santiago is a clubhouse cancer, but word on the streets is that the Tigers training staff has included an oncologist since his callup.

  35. Chris, I should have known Randall Stevens. My pop cultural reach stretches well into the 1980s, so don’t worry. And I really dig REM – very promising new band – so don’t think I can’t relate to you young folks.

    Santiago is back?

    Why do they refer to players as clubhouse cancers, anyway? Wouldn’t it be more accurate to refer to them as tumors or malignancies? Nobody says “doctor told me I had a cancer on my tongue.” And I think we need more jokes relating baseball to medical terms and procedures.

  36. “I predict a homerun for Sheff in his 1st true AB tonight. Walks don’t count.”

    I predict a first AB groundout to 3B for Sheff. Last AB is a home run, though. Important one, too. He shall amaze the world by not walking once in his first game back.

  37. “With a 2 walks”? WTF was I typing there? Anyway, there’s plenty of medical terminology that can be used in regards to our Detroit Tigers. You know – cancer, hemmorhoids…OK maybe that’s the only two. What if you had a cancerous hemmorhoid, though? That would be six levels beyond terrible.

  38. Anyone notice how pumped up Kenny Rogers has been pitching lately. He’s kind of like he was back in ’06 playoffs.

  39. In the ’06 playoffs, KR looked like he could lift a semi truck over his head. Now he only looks like he could lift an Audi. I see your point, though.

  40. Chris – 5 PAs for Sheff? You’re not lifting him for Clete Thomas against the righty in the 10th? Gotta go with the matchup, man. It’s the law.

  41. Ah, he was lifting semis. That explains what was on his hand. I knew I was right to defend him.

  42. Sean: I’m saying they will batter this “Braden Looper” into submission, and thusly everyone will recieve 5 appearances in the batters box. Except for Magglio Ordonez, who will have 20 because JL will finally use my lineup that has him hitting 3rd, 5th, 7th and 8th.

  43. OK Here’s tonight’s lineup:

    Granderson, CF
    Polanco, 2B
    Guillen, 3B
    Ordonez, RF
    Cabrera, 1B
    Thames, LF
    Sheffield, DH
    Renteria, SS
    Rodriguez, C

  44. And one final note, for those of you who are interested in such things. Tigers Stat of the Day: Brandon Inge is on a 58 game errorless streak.

  45. The Cards might look silly using a bench player in the DH spot tonight. Looper was hitting .367 this season.

  46. I gotta say, I like Sheff in the 7 spot until he starts clicking. Hell I find it hard to believe that he won’t be better than Larrish.

Comments are closed.