The Edgar Defense

When the 2007 season came to a close the Tigers had a top priority on their to-do list and that was to get a shortstop. Carlos Guillen’s knees and inconsistency making the routine play had dictated a move across the diamond to first base. So Dave Dombrowski moved swiftly to upgrade the infield defense while keeping a decent bat in the lineup by acquiring Edgar Renteria. Yet to listen to Tigers fans this year you’d think that they had pulled one of those statues down off the left field wall and positioned it between second and third. The fact of the matter is that Renteria is an average defender.

Renteria has picked up gold gloves in the past, but his last one was in 2003. On the wrong side of 30 it’s only natural to expect a shortstop to lose a couple steps and a little pop in the arm. Now measuring defense can be a tricky proposition. Mainstream fielding stats like fielding percentage and range factor and zone rating all have significant limitations in that they are either highly subjective, or highly dependent on context (types of pitchers, handedness or pitchers). Fortunately more advanced stats like ultimate zone rating (UZR), probabilistic model of range (PMR), and John Dewan’s +/- system improve upon many of the problems of the conventional stats. The downside is that they aren’t as readily available in season.

So we’ll start by looking at 2007 data to see what we should have expected form Renteria in 2008. Detroit Tiger Tales did a thorough analysis of defense combining all the defensive metrics he could find. The various metrics aren’t always in lockstep agreement, so instead of relying on one metric Lee looked at all of them and compiled shortstop rankings for the ’07 season. Lee’s study showed Renteria to be -3 runs below average, so slightly below average. Still it was a 14 run improvement over Carlos Guillen which equates to about a win and a half.

David Pinto, the creator of PMR, also produces charts showing how fielders do by the direction the ball is hit. The chart for Renteria shows that he is below average in the hole, but above average up the middle. This is consistent with John Dewan’s +/- ratings. In 2005 and 2006 he was -17 and -19 plays on balls to his right and +18 on balls to his left. If he’s worried about his arm he is probably positioning himself more up the middle knowing he’s more likely to be able to convert the balls he gets to into outs.

So now that we have an idea of what we should have expected from Renteria, what’s he actually doing this year? Using +/- data available from Bill James Online he is -3 plays on balls to his right and +3 on balls to his right. He ranks as the 13th best defender using this method.

PMR isn’t available until after the season. There was limited UZR data made available with the top and bottom fielders at each position and Renteria did make either list meaning he’s somewhere in the middle.

Looking at RZR (revised zone rating) he ranks 7th out of the 12 qualified shortstops in the AL.

Time and time again it looks like Renteria is a middle of the pack defender. He’s on the wrong side of the middle, but far from the catastrophe that many have made him out to be. And he’s pretty much exactly what he has been for the past few years. A guy without remarkable range but someone who makes the plays on the balls he gets to.

173 Comments

  1. Mike R

    June 18, 2008 at 1:27 am

    Something that you didn’t mention is that of those 12 that are qualified for the RZR, Renteria has the 4th most plays made outside of his defensive zone (OOZ for others that click that link) with 22. That list of 12 in terms of RZR goes:

    Orlando Cabrera
    Derek Jeter
    Michael Young
    Jason Bartlett
    Tony Pena Jr.
    Jhonny Peralta
    E-Rent
    Yuniesky Betancourt
    Bobby Crosby
    David Eckstein
    Julio Lugo.

    However, the plays made out of their defensive zone breaks down like this (i’ll just do the top 5):

    O-Cabrera: 32 plays out of his zone.
    Jason Bartlett: 27
    Tony Pena: 23
    Edgar Renteria: 22
    Jhonny Peralta: 20

    To me, that means that he’s most likely gotten to more balls up the middle which would be out of his zone since he cheats up the middle (much like Derek Jeter does).

    This pretty much sums up everything I think about Renteria, as well, Bill. And nice link to Lee’s stuff. I love the work he does in the offseason evaluating all the facets of the Tigers from the previous year.

  2. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 18, 2008 at 1:28 am

    Lies! Propaganda! Don’t listen to him, people.

  3. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 18, 2008 at 1:31 am

    I mean, don’t listen to Billfer. But don’t listen to Mike, either. They’re in cahoots.

  4. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 18, 2008 at 1:37 am

    Really, though…

    Clever title for the article. Good info to have. Thanks to both propagandists.

  5. stephen

    June 18, 2008 at 1:46 am

    So he is slightly below average in the field, a disappointment at the plate, overpaid, and we gave up a guy who looks like he could win 15 games with regularity to get him.
    This is like defending Mussolini by saying well, at least he’s not as bad as Hitler.

  6. stephen

    June 18, 2008 at 1:50 am

    Sorry, I wrote that last thing before checking in on his .365 slugging % for the season, which is below Neifi Perez’s career slugging %. He has exactly one stolen base.
    So, I’m guessing if you combine his defensive and offensive stats he moves to the bottom quarter of American league shortstops. This makes him a complete and absolute disaster.

  7. Ken from Cincinnati

    June 18, 2008 at 1:58 am

    I think what this article really hits on is that we as bloggers find “average play” to be completely unacceptable. In reality, average should really envoke no response from us either direction. Just an “ehh” and a shoulder shrug. I guess if Renteria is middle of the pack we should think of the other shortstops below him. What do you think those teams and fans have to deal with. We have a SS that always makes the play when it’s reachable (in terms of his athleticism). Even Santiago who we think is Ozzie Smith, has booted some pretty easy plays. Let’s just call Renteria Mr. Consistant in the field and focus our outbursts on his offensive production which I believe does warrant some WTFs considering last year’s performance. (I totally would have written “WTF’s” if it wasn’t for the grammatical lesson tonight.)

  8. Joel in Seattle

    June 18, 2008 at 2:38 am

    “I totally would have written “WTF’s” if it wasn’t for the grammatical lesson tonight.”

    Success! One down, several million to go!

  9. Mike R

    June 18, 2008 at 3:00 am

    Stephen: Were you against this deal from the get-go? I can’t remember who was and who wasn’t. I don’t think you’re a Johnny-come-lately who’s just hating the deal with what Jurrjens is doing now for the Braves.

    I was in favor of this trade and even with what Jurrjens is doing, I’d make that trade again.

  10. billfer

    June 18, 2008 at 6:03 am

    So he is slightly below average in the field, a disappointment at the plate, overpaid, and we gave up a guy who looks like he could win 15 games with regularity to get him.
    This is like defending Mussolini by saying well, at least he’s not as bad as Hitler.

    Sorry, I wrote that last thing before checking in on his .365 slugging % for the season, which is below Neifi Perez’s career slugging %. He has exactly one stolen base.
    So, I’m guessing if you combine his defensive and offensive stats he moves to the bottom quarter of American league shortstops. This makes him a complete and absolute disaster.

    stephen – You’re writing a different article here. I was writing about his defense. But since you brought it up, there’s no need to guess about his ranking among AL SS. Here is AL SS sorted by OPS. Basically you have Michael Young (awful defender) at .758 and Jason Bartlett below .600 and everybody else within 20 points of each other meaning they have been essentially the same.

    Show me all these elite shortstops the Tigers passed on.

    Renteria needs to hit better, and I never liked the cost to get him. But I’m tired of the incessant complaining about his defense when what you’re getting is pretty typical.

  11. Chief Monday

    June 18, 2008 at 7:00 am

    Thanks. I get tired of defending Renteria time after time. Many teams don’t even have a healthy everyday SS right now. Plain and simple, the Tigers payed the high premium to get a SS with a track record.
    Many people don’t like Renteria just for the fact that we gave up Jurrjens to get him, which isn’t fair to Renteria.

    DD stepped up big and rolled a seven when he got Galarraga, who has been better than Jurrjens by a mile. His .173 opposing average is just sick. It puts him in Pedro Martinez territory for dominance over hitters. It would be crazy to think he could keep this up though.

    My point is that if we didn’t trade Jurrjens, we may never have discovered Galarraga. IMO, we took one step back, but 2 steps forward with all the off-season moves.

    I guess the muddy part of the Renteria trade is that it may be worthless if we don’t hold on to him for a few seasons longer. I’d hate to see us let him go after one season. The way many fans are acting in Detroit, DD might not a have a choice but to let Renteria go after the season.

    I think some teams will jump on the chance to sign Renteria. St. Louis and Atlanta fans had there hearts broken when Renteria left their organizations. Detroit fans haven’t warmed up to him at all.

  12. jason

    June 18, 2008 at 8:08 am

    Maybe people are spoiled by Polanco, and his 1-year errorless streak, and/or Inge and his flashy defensive plays. Seeing the guy you gave up perform well, probably doesn’t help the perception either.

    I would have to agree, I don’t think he is horrible and I don’t think he is great.

  13. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 18, 2008 at 8:25 am

    “The way many fans are acting in Detroit, DD might not a have a choice but to let Renteria go after the season.”

    Chief Monday, unless Tigers fans start boycotting the games over Renteria’s performance, they really don’t have a vote.

  14. Dave BW

    June 18, 2008 at 8:34 am

    Stephen — it’s June. Maybe it’s time you let Jair go and start seeing other people.

  15. Mark in Chicago

    June 18, 2008 at 9:25 am

    No, we totally should have kept Jurjjens. That dude plays a mean shortstop.

  16. David G.

    June 18, 2008 at 9:53 am

    The thing I’ve always questioned in both of the two major offseason deals is whether Dombrowksi would have done them if it was 100% his decision. Basically whether Ilitch put a little
    “win now” pressure on, given his fairly advanced age. That’s not to say I think the deals are bad, Cabrera is certainly gonna be a stud for years to come and we don’t know what is gonna happen with all the guys we gave up, I just wonder…..most of the time DD was asked about what initiated the trade, he repeatedly referred to a phone call from Ilitch.

  17. Chris Y.

    June 18, 2008 at 10:02 am

    I think the point is this: in hindsight, would you not rather have Jair in this broke rotation and someone/anyone else at SS? Offensively Ramon, and maybe Hollimon, compare nicely to ER this year. And what is for sure, either would contribute some quality defense.

    I think the lesson is this: they gotta stop with the acquisition of FAs in decline or with inflated value. Renteria and Sheff both qualify for that tag. You can understand the Sheff acquisition somewhat, ’cause he had a stellar track record and some reason to hope like hell he’d rebound. Renteria’s value stems more from WS name recognition with the Marlins. A 30+ WS participant that already stunk in the AL is/was not worth a good young arm. Kudos to Atlanta for a superior front office move on this one.

  18. Chief Monday

    June 18, 2008 at 10:09 am

    The Jurrjens trade later lead up to the Galarraga trade. Would the Tigers have traded for Galarraga if they didn’t trade away Jurrjens, Badenhop, ect? Probably not.
    They traded for Galarraga to add depth to the minor league system after those other trades depleted the system.

  19. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 18, 2008 at 10:11 am

    I’d like to know what is meant by Renteria cheating to the middle. For the moment, I will assume this means he plays closer to second base than someone with more range or a stronger arm might. But if your weakness is moving to the right, wouldn’t you want to cheat the other way? Is arm rather than range the real issue here?

    Who positions Renteria? Is it his call entirely? Does a veteran like Renteria work with coaches on strategies to compensate for weaknesses, or is this “just not done” when a player has reached a certain level of experience and accomplishment?

    About UZR and PMR: Are the creators secretive about their methods, or can you read up on this stuff – not just what it means, but how the numbers are derived – in detail somewhere? I’m familiar with Dewan by way of Chicago radio, and should probably get his book (I would guess he explains +/- there).

    Has anyone come upon a system that takes everything – within reason – into account for performance on every fielding chance, including cutoffs and backing up throws? It’s obvious that you could put every fielder under a magnifying glass for an entire game and score every aspect of the performance. You couldn’t avoid subjectivity, but it would at least be comprehensive.

    In a very simple way, I’ve tried out my own analyses of hitters, looking to score what you might call their “basic overall job performance.” I’m not sure if I’ve come up with anything meaningful, but it has been interesting.

  20. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 18, 2008 at 10:17 am

    “No, we totally should have kept Jurjjens. That dude plays a mean shortstop.”

    Succinct and subtle answer to the Jurjjens whiners.

  21. Chris in Dallas

    June 18, 2008 at 10:24 am

    Billfer makes a solid defense of defense. Unfortunately I must disagree. There’s some saying about putting lipstick on a pig…

  22. Dave BW

    June 18, 2008 at 10:25 am

    As I’ve said before, a Tigers team with Dave as GM would have picked up Adam Everett for SS instead of make the Jurrjens trade. Of course, Guillen probably wouldn’t have been happy about that (remember, he wanted an ALL STAR SHORTSTOP) and Tigers fans would have complained about Everett’s bat endlessly more than they complain about Renteria’s. So Dombrowski’s move was likely best for all parties involved.

  23. thefume

    June 18, 2008 at 10:33 am

    I was against the Renteria trade because I strongly believed Guillen should stay at shortstop. That said, once the powers that be decided he couldn’t play shortstop, the trade made sense. And Renteria is definitely adequate defensively (so was Guillen I thought).

    Also, doesn’t anyone else think that if the Tigers still had Jurjjens at the winter meeting he’d be a Marlin now? In place of the Badenhop/De La Cruz/Trahern filler trio?

  24. Chris in Dallas

    June 18, 2008 at 10:38 am

    Oh yeah, I guess I should probably have some sort of rationale for why I don’t agree with billfer’s premise. IMO Elmers is only a marginal upgrade over Guillen defensively. To cherry pick a few reasons why: Fielding win shares for ’07: Guillen 3.0, Renteria 3.4, RZR: .815 (ER) vs. .801 (CG), and both were middle of the pack +/- wise. I’m not going to say that Renteria isn’t a better fielder than Guillen, but given the price tag (Jurrjens AND Hernandez) I don’t think the trigger should have been pulled. Particularly when you consider that they were in hot pursuit of Jack Wilson all of last year, who is a demonstrably better fielder than either of them and likely wouldn’t have cost two top 10 prospects to get.

  25. Chief Monday

    June 18, 2008 at 10:39 am

    All I know is that the holes in the infield have been much smaller since Guillen’s flared up ailment went away. Guillen is making plays left, right, front, and back right now. Renteria is covering enough ground on his side of the field and makes good strong throws to first.

    This season, “with Runners on Base” what SS has the highest Batting Average?

    Renteria- .319
    Jeter- .309
    Tejada- .302
    M. Young-.294
    Guzman-.286
    Scutaro-.277
    Crosby-.276
    H. Ramirez- .273
    O. Cabrera- .267
    Betancourt-.266
    Reyes-.268
    Escobar- .255
    Bartlett-.248
    Drew-.242
    Lugo-.237
    Hardy-.222
    Greene-.212
    Peralta-.192

    If you didn’t guess it, 1st is -
    Theriot- .366

  26. greg

    June 18, 2008 at 10:47 am

    In my opinion, the complaints about Renteria’s defense in 2008 are valid. I’ve seen it. I won’t deny what my eyes tell me no matter how many sabermetricians tout the superiority of certain statistical models over the visual evidence of observation. Renteria’s not playing an acceptable level of defense, at least not the standard I would set if I were Jim Leyland. He’s botched way to many routine plays. I would expect that Renteria would tell you the same and that he hopes to improve going forward. It seems like he’s gotten slightly better the last 2 weeks, at least when I’ve watched. He did make at least one great play recently.

    I do agree that his substandard defense is an upgrade over Carlos Guillen’s ’07 defense at SS.

    I can’t fault Dombrowski for making the trade. I agreed with it at the time. Mostly because I wasn’t convinced that Jurrjens could stay healthy for any length of time and I was overjoyed that Guillen wouldn’t be playing SS anymore. Would I still make the trade? I dunno, that’s a tuffy. I’d have to think about it. It would be interesting to see the ramifications of a Jurrjens in the rotation and a Santiago fulltime at SS, but then again, why bother? This is the team we have. The story isn’t over, Renteria still has time to raise his defensive and offensive performance up to ‘par’.

    I will confess that I’ve only fully examined less than half of the ‘defensive metric ratings’ and would love to find one that was TRULY indicative of a fielders performance. Fielding % is such a joke now that it no longer has any meaning to me, as numerous times every single night routine grounders get ruled hits. Probably because of the ‘Orlando Cabreras’ of the world harrassing official scorers whenever they call a spade a spade.

    I did pick up Dewan’s Fielding Bible a couple of years ago and found his work interesting. Problem is, I seldom think about it because it only comes out every 3 years(I think), and the level of one’s defensive performance can change significantly over time.

  27. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 18, 2008 at 10:51 am

    “if the Tigers still had Jurjjens at the winter meeting he’d be a Marlin now”

    Interesting and, as far as I know, very original thought.

  28. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 18, 2008 at 10:56 am

    “a Tigers team with Dave as GM would have picked up Adam Everett for SS’

    Dave, tell us more about Adam Everett and who you would have given up for him. Remember, you can’t use Mike Rabelo – that would have cost the Tigers their chance at Cabrera. No Rabelo, no deal is the word I heard at the time.

  29. Chris in Dallas

    June 18, 2008 at 11:00 am

    Chief brings up my current favorite MLB name: Theriot. The. Riot. I love that, almost as much as I love Angel Pagan.

  30. Chief Monday

    June 18, 2008 at 11:02 am

    I’ve seen Lugo botch ball after ball this year, but the Red Sox keep winning. Lugo even blew that game for Paplebon vs the Tigers. Google “Lugo Sucks” and you’ll find an endless amount of hits, but he still trots out there every game.

  31. Chief Monday

    June 18, 2008 at 11:10 am

    “if the Tigers still had Jurjjens at the winter meeting he’d be a Marlin now”

    “Interesting and, as far as I know, very original thought.”

    I agree. Everyone would be hating Dontrelle Willis even more if that happened.

  32. Lee Panas

    June 18, 2008 at 11:10 am

    For those who want to see the methodology behind UZR, PMR and Dewan’s plus/minus, here are some links:

    http://www.baseballthinkfactor.....3-03-14_0/

    http://www.baseballthinkfactor.....3-03-21_0/

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....#038;eurl=

    http://www.fieldingbible.com/

  33. Lee Panas

    June 18, 2008 at 11:14 am

  34. Chris in Dallas

    June 18, 2008 at 11:17 am

    Quietly Andrew Miller seems to be making progress in South Florida. I’m just sayin’.

  35. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 18, 2008 at 11:26 am

    Forget Jurrjens and Miller. Eulogio de la Cruz is where it’s at.

    Oh – I think Guillen said he wanted a Gold Glove SS, not an All Star. I could be wrong.

  36. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 18, 2008 at 11:42 am

    Back to fielding – I’d prefer to know how a SS or any fielder is performing in a more absolute and not relative sense. Maybe Renteria is average in a poor field. As he seems to be, for his position and league, at the plate. I don’t think in terms of replacing him with another SS from another team so much as I do about whether he helps or hurts the team he is on right now. The more he hurts it, if he does, the more I like the idea of giving lesser known quantities a shot.

    Hey, Pudge seems to be thriving with his new platoon arrangement.

  37. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 18, 2008 at 11:58 am

    Forget that I can’t spell Jurjjens. I’m going to use Jair from now on. Hope I spelled it right.

    Freddie Guzman was the guy I was trying to think of yesterday, not Gonzales or Gonzalez or Garcia. Man. Losing it.

  38. Chris in Dallas

    June 18, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    Sean: it’s “The Speedy Freddy Guzman”. Get it right, man. That’s what’s on his birth certificate.

  39. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 18, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    Sorry, Chris. I’m in a tailspin here.

    If only I was healthy. My finger speed is still excellent.

  40. Dave BW

    June 18, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    Sean — Everett was a free agent. He’s the best fielding shortstop in baseball, but he can’t hit to save his life. I’m all about the good field/no hit players at SS.

  41. Chris in Dallas

    June 18, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    It’s OK Sean. I’ll still keep hitting you 3rd because you’ve got a great track record of success.

  42. Dave BW

    June 18, 2008 at 12:45 pm

    Obviously, the best move would have been to just move Inge to SS. Imagine how many balls he could get to if he had the authority to call off EVERYONE

  43. Chief Monday

    June 18, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    Wasn’t Dolsi a SS, but since he couldn’t hit they made him a pitcher?

  44. Mark in Chicago

    June 18, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    Agree Sean on the de la Cruz comment. The Marlins have tried him as a starter in the minors, but I always thought he would make a good reliever. I think he’ll be the guy we miss as much as anybody in that trade.

    Chris, Miller might improving, but Maybin is a long way off, he’s got an OPS of 833 at AA with 86(!) strikeouts in 66 games. I like to look at the deal this way: Miller will probably end up being better than Willis, but I really doubt Maybin will be better than Cabrera. I just don’t see it. So we basically gave up Badenhop, Rabelo, etc. for the right to sign Cabrera. None of the guys we traded (with the possible exeption of DL Cruz) are frontline players, so they amount to replaceable spare parts. Given the risk of pitchers’ health and Miller’s issues with command and mechanics, who knows how he’ll really pan out or how long it will take? I think the deal is a winner.

    I won’t bore everyone with my dissertation defending the Renteria trade, but I would like anybody to come up with a better alternative to put at shortstop every day that DD could have acquired. Please note that Ken Williams gave up an established starting pitcher good for 200 innings or so for Orlando Cabrera.

  45. Mark in Chicago

    June 18, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    Inge could pitch, catch, hit, run, field and throw all on the same play. Then he’d drink 50 beers and kick Kobayashi’s ass at eating hot dogs. He’s the Chuck Norris of baseball.

  46. Andre

    June 18, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    I think the problem is that people are judging trades based on current numbers. It’s fine to critique Renteria based on his performance so far, as he has been below career norms.

    However, to somehow relate it in terms of how Jair is doing now doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense. You’re free to do so, but then you should qualify your comparisons by looking at how each was rated at the time (Renteria’s track record vs Jair’s lack of the same).

    This business of criticizing trades on how they work out vs how most people thought they would work out isn’t especially useful when the two are very different. To say that you would have predicted the situation as it is now at the time of the trade would put you in a realm previously reserved for prophets and oracles.

    Knowing what DD knew at the time, especially if the idea that he was under ownership pressure to win-now, you would likely make the trade if it comes your way.

  47. Andre

    June 18, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    Mark in Chi,

    You may have just opened a Pandora’s Box with the Inge/Norris comparison…I can see this getting out of hand in a hurry!

  48. West Coast Tiger

    June 18, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    I’m a simple person, but I have to say even though Edgar hasn’t given us what we thought on offense, among everyday SS’s in the AL he ranks as follows:

    Avg. 6th
    RBI 3rd
    SLG 8th
    OPS 7th

    He is middle of the road to top half on offense.

  49. rings

    June 18, 2008 at 1:09 pm

    Good post, Bilfer.

    Edgar is going to hit better (just as Miggy will) and he’s an upgrade over Guillen’s defense.

    As for spilled milk and Jair: enough of that hindsight nonsense. We were dealing from a position of strength with that trade. We have guys to take his role and he wasn’t going to be in our rotation anyway. Plus, a portion of his Atlanta success (and Miller’s for that matter) has to be measured against the fact that he’s pitching in the NL, not the AL. He was and is a good pitcher, but its not like our cupboard was bare in exchange for filling a glaring need on the major league roster.

  50. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 18, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    “I’ll still keep hitting you 3rd because you’ve got a great track record of success.”

    I know you will, because you’d better. There’s a lot I could say about this place if I had a mind to. I also think I could get more into the blog if you gave me Dave BW’s position.

  51. West Coast Tiger

    June 18, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    In the last 30 Days Edgar is much better

    Avg. .294

    RBI 14

    SLG. .388

    OPS .756

  52. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 18, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    What sticks in my mind about Renteria’s hitting – besides the 2 grand slams and the good start – is how he did during the Tigers’ long losing streaks. Beyond bad, way below the terrible “norm” set by the rest of the team. .155 BA, 1 RBI, .155 slugging, .424 OPS, I think. 20 games.

    I shall soon analyze the Good Times Tigers – performance during the win streaks. If Edgar shows up hot hot hot, maybe I can overlook his Bad Tiger stats.

  53. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 18, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    I also don’t like Edgar’s demeanor. He seems to be giving me attitude when I look at him. He doesn’t look enthusiastic like Carlos did. His “smile” in the team photo looks forced.

    I also think a Colombian SS named Juan Valdez would be a lot more fun.

  54. Chris in Dallas

    June 18, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    The thing that irks me most about the ER/JJ trade is not so much that Jurrjens is performing well in Atlanta. He’s pretty good, so that was to be expected. Renteria is pretty good too – it’s not like he’s Neifi Perez or something. I didn’t like what I’ll call the Yankee Mentality behind the deal. Here you go giving up a 22 year old pitching prospect who was under club control for 5 more years as well as a promising (albeit very raw) OF prospect who would be under club control for at least 6 more years for an aging SS who will be a free agent after ’09 assuming they pick up his option for next year. 11 years service time for 2. I like the fact that the team is building to win NOW, but on the other hand they sacrificed quite a bit of the future.

  55. Chris Y.

    June 18, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    Since when do we analyze a trade based on numbers for the players BEFORE the trade?

    A trade is made based on the courting front offices making PREDICTIONS about the said players.

    This much was known:

    1: Renteria sucked in the AL.

    Ask any Red Sox fan. We paid for a 32-yr old career year at the plate in 2007.

    2: Jurrjens, at 25 (I think), came up last year and threw strikes. Atlanta saw something they liked, apparently.

    Which is more than could be said for the rest of the club at that portion of the season. JJ had been in the farm system for several years, so I’m guessing — just guessing — that DD and his cronies had plenty of “track record” for the kid.

    So the question is, who made the better prediction?

    Would you make that trade today?

    Seriously?

    No.

    The point is, it happens. You overpay. Big deal, AS LONG AS YOU LEARN FROM IT.

    So, no more stupid trade/FA acquisitions.

  56. ron

    June 18, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    I haven’t seen one speck of dirt on Edgar’s uniform all season, but he does have the Guillen dip down.

  57. T Smith

    June 18, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    Sean:

    I believe you are correct, Guillen told the organization he would switch for a “Gold Glove” replacement at SS, not an “All-Star” replacement at SS. We already had/have an All-Star SS.

    A Gold Glove Renteria’s not. Not even close.

    The thing is:

    I agree with Greg. Admittedly, it’s a subjective analysis, based on watching Renteria play the position for almost 70 games. Maybe we’ve only seen the worst of what Renteria has to offer in that small sample size? Not sure. The sabermetrics, however, which portray an “average” defender, are actually more flattering of a measure, to me, than his actual play. So does that mean I’m subjectively unfair? I don’t know. Maybe.

    Integral to this discussion, however, is the fact that SS is the most dynamic defensive position in baseball. If Renteria played 1st base, or any other position, I would likely have no problem with him. But SS? More balls go to the shortstop than any other position. The problem I have are all the balls Renteria doesn’t get to that slip through the infield — which are ALOT — and which often end up being deciding factors to inning-extending rallies, and to the outcome of games. I’m much more forgiving when said plays don’t end up harming the team — and maybe Renteria’s just been unlucky in this regard — but there have been just so many botched plays this year that have tipped the game.

    Another gripe: tailor-made DPs hit to Renteria (or slightly more difficult, to be fair) suddenly become a foot-race to the bag, even with lead-footed players. His arm strength is just average, but more than that, IMO, is his slow release/not getting the ball out of his glove quickly enough. It just looks like he’s moving in slow motion.

    Renteria defenders invariably point out that he’s consistent with the routine play — and I agree, he is. But you need more than just a “consistent” player at SS (unless that player is at short because he’s mashing on the other side of the ball). I don’t even believe Renteria’s made more than his share of errors. To my standards, though, continually letting plays get through the infield — or continually not being quick enough to convert the DPs — equate to a continual sting of veiled errors — even though these plays are hardly ever ruled as errors. Guillen would get to a ball and pick up a throwing error that affected his error total (and I’m assuming his UZR and PMR) negatively, where Renteria just lets the same ball slip through the infield. Why does the former play count as an error and the latter not? If nothing more, I think the official error ruling should be more stringent on taking range into account.

    Finally, this whole discussion becomes mute if you’re fielding your most dynamic position player with a slugger, or a player who makes up for extending rallies on one side of the ball by extending rallies on the other side of the ball. Renteria has fallen far short of accomplishing the latter, which in my mind, is why he’s taking all this heat to begin with.

  58. Andre

    June 18, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    Chris,

    That’s a much more substantive and relevant beef to have regarding that trade, and a take on it re: service time I hadn’t seen yet. Hopefully some people will take a cue off of that instead of the surprising under/over performances that nobody could have predicted.

    That having been said, the Tigers were betting future prospects in order to win now all along. We knew it, they said as much…and at the time, I didn’t hear much grumbling about the trade.

    JJ’s performance in Atlanta wouldn’t be on the radar as more than an interesting factoid somebody dug up while they were bored if the offense had clicked sooner and our starting pitching had performed up to expectations (which weren’t exactly unreasonable either). The fact that JJ is relevant at all is mostly due to a string of injuries and bad luck, not all of which was remotely conceivable at the time of the trade.

    Why keep torturing ourselves with his (present) success?

  59. Mike

    June 18, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    what is the deal with everyone’s love affair with Jair Jurgens. Seriously…he is a decent pitcher in the national league with a .263 BA and a 1.43 WHIP. Come on…Nate Robertson has a 1.48 WHIP, pretty close. Jurgens would not be near the pitcher in the American league and I suspect he would be getting smacked around pretty good. He has given up 36 hits in his last 22.2 innings to go along with 12 BB’s.

    The Tigers will make deals and give up prospects, and some might even turn out to be decent players for other teams. We need to get over the 20 year John Smoltz hangover. For the love of god…enough.

  60. Chris in Dallas

    June 18, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    “I haven’t seen one speck of dirt on Edgar’s uniform all season”

    Which brings to mind a question that I’ve never had an answer for. Why in the flip does Guillen always have that little patch of dirt on his shoulder? Without fail. Is it a stain? Are they too cheap to provide him a new jersey? These are the things I wonder as I watch the Tigers.

  61. Andre

    June 18, 2008 at 1:56 pm

    Chris,

    if its on his shoulder it could be resin from the bat…

  62. ron

    June 18, 2008 at 1:56 pm

    Andre, this site is full of prophets and oracles. Mike R can call a game 24 hrs in advance. Hasn’t been wrong yet. He’s our leader. Lives in a small shack in Western Michigan under a railroad trestle crunching out numbers 24 hrs. a day staying awake by chewing on old tea bags sent to him by some WISE man in Illinois.

  63. Andre

    June 18, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    I gotta hand it to y’all…the imagery here far surpasses anything i’ve ever seen in a sports blog. I’m truly awed and humbled.

  64. Chris in Dallas

    June 18, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    ron: OK that one deserves an LOL because I actually laughed. I don’t hand those out indesciminately. Anyhoo, I’ll say one last word on the kid from Curacao and then I promise I will mention his name no more forever. In reference to Mike’s post, you should really compare him with Galarraga since that’s the role he would have were he not pitching for the Braves right now. So let’s “go there”:

    Galarraga: 65.3 IP 40 H 27 BB 44 K 6 HR 3.31 ERA 127 ERA+
    Jurrjens: 84 IP 86 H 34 BB 66 K 5 HR 3.43 ERA 118 ERA+

    You can see it’s pretty close as of today. On the other hand, Jurrjens is sporting a .310 BABiP, which is pretty normal. Galarraga’s is a freakishly low .187. That tells me Jurrjens is more likely to continue posting similar numbers while Galarraga is likely to see quite a bit of regression from here on out. Anyway, I think why fans (at least this fan anyway) are a little frustrated is that the depth of starting pitching was pretty much stripped in the offseason. You have to prepare for a season ending injury (Bonderman) or one of your horses contracting Steve Blass Disease (Willis) by having sufficient depth in the rotation which the Tigers are lacking. If they continue to play the way they have over the last 2 weeks or so, they should be fine though. I like to end on a positive note…

  65. Chief Monday

    June 18, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    “This much was known:

    1: Renteria sucked in the AL. ”
    Bad arguement. The league had nothing to do it. The Sox have railroaded every SS they’ve had in the past few years including Garciaparra. Each SS they went through had career lows in fielding pct while playing SS while with Boston. O Cabrera, Renteria and now Lugo.

    Btw, Renteria scored 100 runs and had 70 RBI’s the year he was with Boston. Amazing production he had since he sucked in the AL. I wonder what he could do if he didn’t suck.

  66. Slashpyne

    June 18, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    My three cents…
    I don’t think the Tigers trusted Jairs’ arm to stay healthy.
    I love speedy CFs, so I followed Gorkys minor league career with anticipation, but sooo many promising low minors players don’t pan out that I am not overly concerned about him.

    If only we had a speedy CF on the team now…Oh wait!

  67. Chief Monday

    June 18, 2008 at 2:39 pm

    IMO, Galarraga’s 3.31 ERA is kind of high for having such a low 1.03 WHIP. He has a fantastic .573 OPP OPS, which is ranked 3rd for roto. I think Galarraga’s ERA could easily be in the lower 2′s if you compare him to Duchscherer or Volquez or even Marcum.

    Jurrjens has .717 Opp OPS which ain’t bad, it ranks 48th from the top roto wise, but he has a miserable 1.43 whip.

  68. West Coast Tiger

    June 18, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    This Thread makes Jair look like Sid Finch.

  69. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 18, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    “if its on his shoulder it could be resin from the bat”

    I’ll buy that. Andre.

    Does the patch change from shoulder to shoulder game to game? Does Guillen take BP from both sides (of course he does)? So, he ought to have patches on each shoulder. If he doesn’t, why not?

    These are the questions we grapple with, not only as Tiger fans, but as human beings.

  70. Chief Monday

    June 18, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    There was something about Jurrjens that Leyland didn’t like. Perhaps it’s because he had too many small injuries and couldn’t make his scheduled starts.

    With Atlanta so far he blamed his bad performances on a so called “blister”. Then he missed his start at Chicago vs the Cubs with a so called “sprained ankle”. I never saw anyone recover from a sprained ankle so quickly. I’d hate to see how he’d pitch if he had a real injury.

    The guy probably suffers from hypochondria if anything.

  71. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 18, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    Ron, every time Mike R posts from now on, I believe I am going to be forced to see, in my mind’s eye, the scene you described. I’m not sure who should resent you more for that, Mike or me.

    Too funny, though.

  72. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 18, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    Leyland didn’t like his name, and I don’t blame him. It’s hard to remember how to spell.

  73. Neal

    June 18, 2008 at 2:59 pm

    Jair is 22. He was 21 at the time of the trade. Gorkys was and is 20.
    I didn’t realize How young Jair is, I thought he was a 25-27 year old who hadn’t panned out yet.

  74. Chris in Dallas

    June 18, 2008 at 2:59 pm

    Yes, writing that name on a lineup card is too much for any one man to have to deal with every five days. This much we know. As for Armando, his numbers will surely inflate in the near term. It is called BABiP, and it is a cruel mistress.

    Galarraga – .187
    Duchscherer – .244
    Volquez – .273
    Marcum – .225

  75. Ryan

    June 18, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    Lineups:

    SS Renteria
    2B Polanco
    3B Guillen
    RF Maggs
    1B Cabrera
    LF Markley the Amazing
    C Pudge
    CF Granderson
    P Arrrrrrrrrmando

    versus

    LF Lewis
    3B Castillo
    RF Winn
    C A Molina of some sort
    CF Rowand
    1B Bowker
    2B Denker
    SS Vizquel
    P I am very excited to see Zito get clobbered

  76. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 18, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    The Renteria trade is the debate that will not die.

    I think a more interesting hypothetical question is what would have happened if the Cabrera trade hadn’t. For reasons having nothing to do with Cabrera’s performance, this acquisition may have been – I stress may have been and admit that it requires some imagination to consider – bad for the Tigers in the short run. The things that would have or could have happened in the absence of this trade with the Marlins are, if nothing else, interesting to speculate about, if you’re so inclined.

    Again, not a knock on Gil. We could play the same game with Sheffield, but that was so long ago now.

  77. Ryan

    June 18, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    Seriously. Bowker? Denker? Are they just making these guys up?

  78. greg

    June 18, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    Billfer & Mike R -

    I’d be very interested, if you’re willing to share your opinion, in hearing your top 3(in order) defensive metrics out there, why you like them, and where we can find a condensed, pithy explanation of how they come up with the data/numbers.

  79. Chris in Dallas

    June 18, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    Which of the Flying Molina Brothers is it? Bengie? He’s a slowpoke. Makes Sean Casey look like Carl Lewis. I too am looking forward to Zito getting the stuffing pounded out of him. Stupid hippie.

  80. Chris in Dallas

    June 18, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    THT has some good defensive data available (RZR, OOZ, Win Shares etc.)

    http://www.thehardballtimes.com

    Baseball Prospectus also offers some good stuff for fielding.

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com

    And there’s the Fielding Bible (+/-)

    http://www.fieldingbible.com

    On a related note, I have an annoying habit of answering questions that were not asked to me. Sorry.

  81. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 18, 2008 at 3:18 pm

    Ryan

    What happened to K-Bot 3000? Was it reprogrammed to hit for average again? Is it permanent, or just a patch, like a kind of Pudge Service Pack 2?

  82. Chief Monday

    June 18, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    Chris- Not sure what BABIP is? What is it and Where do I find it?

  83. Chief Monday

    June 18, 2008 at 3:22 pm

    Chris- you mean BIPA? Balls In Play Average. Batting Average Against, not including home runs or strikeouts.

  84. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 18, 2008 at 3:22 pm

    Batting average on balls in play, Chief. At baseball-reference.com or anywhere.

  85. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 18, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    I have this annoying habit of answering questions that weren’t asked of me.

  86. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 18, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    Ryan, all they need is a guy named Bowden (nickname: Ker-Ker) to complete the loop.

  87. Chris in Dallas

    June 18, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    Chief: Batting Average on Balls in Play. Basically you remove all HR and strikeouts from a pitcher’s stat line and that’s what’s left. It’s useful in seeing how lucky a guy is, since once the ball is put in play, there’s nothing more the pitcher can do. The league average is right around .300 for BABiP – anything significantly lower *generally* indicates a guy has had good luck, while anything significantly higher would *generally* indicate bad luck. This is part of the reason why I’d wager Galarraga and Robertson’s numbers will flip flop by the end of the year. You can find this info at the Fan Graphs website or on the splits page at baseball-reference.com

  88. Chris in Dallas

    June 18, 2008 at 3:27 pm

    Wow, I just realized that was a long winded response. I’m using too many pixels today.

  89. rings

    June 18, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    “IMO, Galarraga’s 3.31 ERA is kind of high for having such a low 1.03 WHIP”

    Could be inherited runners being allowed to score. I haven’t looked ‘em up for Gallarraga, but Verlander’s ERA has been punished (especially early) as nearly all of his inherited runners were allowed to score.

  90. Ken from Cincinnati

    June 18, 2008 at 3:31 pm

    Ha. K-Bot 3000? They called me the K-Bot in college. Sadly I’m not joking. I won a robot dancing contest that I barely even remember. It marked me for the rest of my days.

  91. Chief Monday

    June 18, 2008 at 3:48 pm

    Chris- Thanks for the response. I can see why you like that stat. Not being a power pitcher makes that an ugly stat for Galarraga. I’m not going to buy into that stat yet because-
    There is enough sharp movement on Galarraga pitches to keep hitters from lining the ball, but not good enough to fool them or enough velocity to strike them out.

  92. Mark in Chicago

    June 18, 2008 at 3:54 pm

    Chris,

    Do you consider FIP ERA to be somewhat of a confirming factor along with BABIP to determine a pitcher’s luck? I am not as well-versed as you in this stuff, but I know enough to be dangerous, I guess. I speculate that a FIP ERA that is much higher than his traditional ERA indicates the pitcher is benefitting from a good defense that turns more batted balls into outs behind him, and is thus more likely to maintain a below-average BABIP, i.e., may not be as “lucky” as he appears based on BABIP alone.

    The flipside would be a low FIP with a low BABIP, which could indicate a tremendous amount of luck (and bad defense) and BABIP is more likely to rise, as the defense behind him is generally subpar.

    A high FIP and high BABIP would indicate good defense and a somewhat unlucky pitcher, while a low FIP and high BABIP indicates bad defense and very bad luck.

    Maybe I am misunderstanding FIP, but do you see any relation to FIP and BABIP, not necessarily some particluar number but a general observation about a pitcher’s luck?

  93. Chris in Dallas

    June 18, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    Mark: I kinda think you have to look at other peripheral numbers to make a real determination. FIP is interesting. Let’s look at a fictitious pitcher. I’ll call him “N. Robertson”. No, that’s too obvious – let’s call him “Nate R.” He’s got a 2.33 K/BB ratio, and his K/9 is 6.00. That indicates he’s got decent command and strikes out an acceptable number of batters so he’s pitching well. Then you look at his 5.46 ERA and say WTF? Then you look at Mr. BABiP and see it’s sitting at .330. Could it be that this Nate R. fellow is a bit unlucky? You could make that argument (FIP says his ERA s/b 4.26). The case for bad luck is also bolstered by the fact that he’s not giving up a whole lot more line drives than in years past, and his HR/FB rate is actually lower than it has been. OK, back to following the game.

  94. T Smith

    June 18, 2008 at 6:12 pm

    This may not belong in this thread, but that was a perfect example of a Guillen error — the same ball gets under Renteria’s glove into LF. The sabermetrics penalize Guillen for getting to the ball and trying to make the play. Whereas the shirking Renteria escapes unscathed.

    Of course I’m not condoning Guillen throwing the ball away. Now there’s a runner on second instead of first — and the run scores (which would have scored anyway cuz it get’s under Renteria’s glove). Anyhoo… just sayin.

  95. Ryan in Brooklyn

    June 18, 2008 at 7:33 pm

    T Smith – actually you’ve got it exactly wrong. Traditional stats (fielding percentage) would penalize Guillen with an error, while Renteria would not be penalized. A more advanced fielding metric would simply note that neither player was able to convert the ball into an out. A metric like PMR would determine the probability of the ball in play being converted into an out and then compare that to what actually happened. If the probability of the ball becoming an out is low, neither player takes a hit for missing the opportunity. If the probability is high, they both get docked.

  96. T Smith

    June 18, 2008 at 8:10 pm

    Ryan:

    I did assume errors factored in some way into more advanced metrics.

  97. billfer

    June 18, 2008 at 8:23 pm

    The nice thing about the more advanced ones is that it takes the subjectivity of whether or not it was an error out of play. It just records where the ball was hit, the type of hit, and the conditions when the ball was hit, and whether or not the play was made. It doesn’t try and judge whether or not he should have made the play – at least not actively at the time of the play. That happens in the math on the back end.

  98. Mike R

    June 18, 2008 at 8:35 pm

    I read about 3/4ths of the responses and the one thing that’s consistently sticking out with all the complaining about not having Jurrjens but being ‘stuck’ with Renteria I have one question:

    WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE DONE?

    There’s a whole lot of complaining but seemingly no one else is giving any other solutions to the problem: Carlos Guillen HAD to move off the short stop position. The other options were dealing for Jack Wilson, giving Ramon Santiago the job (he is not the hitter he’s been early this year, count on that), moving Inge to SS, signing Omar Vizquel, giving it to Ryan Raburn, or getting Miguel Tejada.

    Unless I’m forgetting one, those were our options.

    Santiago can’t hit and I’m not even sure that his glove is as elite as many like to believe.

    Jack Wilson is an average offensive 2nd baseman who can pick the hell out of the baseball.

    Inge hasn’t played SS since college and is the super sub

    Raburn is a super sub who’s less athletic and in my mind more suited to be a defensive replacement at 3rd or 2nd — I don’t think he’s athletic enough for the SS position.

    Omar Vizquel is half the hitter Brandon Inge is. Wrap your mind around that one.

    Outside of that, Edgar Renteria was the plausible option. If you’re going to criticize the move, I’d like to hear what everyone else’s solutions would have been. There’s too many people griping about the Tigers answer to the problem and too few people providing their own answers.

  99. Adam

    June 18, 2008 at 8:46 pm

    Mike – What would we have had to do to get Tejada?

  100. Mike R

    June 18, 2008 at 9:10 pm

    Trade for him Adam. He was on the block. With him, though, you get the steroid/perjury controversy, a diminishing defensive value, a bigger monetary cost, and now a controversy on his age.

    The package the Astros gave up for Tejada was one that I think we could have beaten if we gave up a Jurrjens/Gorkys Hernandez to Baltimore rather than to Atlanta, but I’m fine with Renteria in that deal over Tejada.

  101. Dave BW

    June 18, 2008 at 9:27 pm

    Mike — the talk about Inge at SS was facetious, at least in this thread.

  102. Mark in Chicago

    June 18, 2008 at 9:28 pm

    Exactly my point as well, Mike. What options did we have? To my knowledge, All-Star caliber shortstops aren’t exactly available on a daily basis.

    And my favorite point: Kenny Williams gave up Jon Garland, an established starting pitcher capable of filling out any rotation and throwing 200 above-average innings, for Orlando Cabrera, a good defensive shortstop coming off a career offensive year, who sucks.

  103. Mike R

    June 18, 2008 at 9:37 pm

    Dave: I didn’t even see anyone suggest Inge as a SS. That was all from me. I think that might’ve been a plausible option at one point in the offseason.

    Mark: I guess that is just my biggest problem with the anti-renteria camp — none of them give plausible answers. Guillen was brutal at shortstop and we improved it. There weren’t exactly a plethora of options available.

  104. Dave BW

    June 18, 2008 at 9:53 pm

    That depends on how you define “plausible”. If you mean an SS that isn’t a liability in the batting order, then yes, Renteria was the best and possibly only option. If you’re willing to sacrifice offense for elite defense, then there are several more possibilities — one of which I used as an example in this thread and a couple of others that you did.

  105. Mark in Chicago

    June 18, 2008 at 9:57 pm

    Remember Dave, the Renteria deal was done a few days after the World Series, without any hint of a possible Cabrera deal, which meant Inge was still your starting 3b. So offense was definitely a consideration when finding a new SS.

    Had the Cabrera deal been done first, or at least on the table, DD may very well have gone a different direction and sacrificed offense for better defense.

  106. Chief Monday

    June 18, 2008 at 10:34 pm

    The Tigers corrected the mistake with Cabrera at 3b rather quickly. It took guts to move him to 1b the way Leyland did and it was something that needed to be done when it was done.

    Guillen was rough at 3b at the beginning, but he’s been rather good lately. He’s no Inge, but he’s 500 times better than Cabrera was.
    I really like the infield the way it is set right now. It has shaped up nicely in the last 10 games.

    Renteria is a very nice complementary player to this team. He’s good enough to bat at the top of the order. He was hitting .343 in leadoff spot before Todays game.

    Polanco is as solid as they come at 2b. He deserves to start in the All star game.

  107. Dave BW

    June 18, 2008 at 10:44 pm

    To clarify, I don’t have any problem at all with the Renteria trade. However, to claim that no one else has or had suggested viable options as alternatives is a little disingenuous.

  108. billfer

    June 18, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    Billfer & Mike R -

    I’d be very interested, if you’re willing to share your opinion, in hearing your top 3(in order) defensive metrics out there, why you like them, and where we can find a condensed, pithy explanation of how they come up with the data/numbers.

    I don’t know that I have a favorite, but I’d have to say that UZR, PMR, and +/- are all up there. When possible I like to use all 3. They usually are reasonably close, but not always.

    As for the explanation, it’s not that condensed, but there are explanations for each of the metrics in the Detroit Tiger Tales article I linked to up above.

    That depends on how you define “plausible”. If you mean an SS that isn’t a liability in the batting order, then yes, Renteria was the best and possibly only option. If you’re willing to sacrifice offense for elite defense, then there are several more possibilities — one of which I used as an example in this thread and a couple of others that you did.

    Adam Everett was a possibility that would have been cheap. But his early season injury combined with his complete lack of offense would have rendered him a whipping boy as well. Plus, at the time of the Renteria trade it would have made for a dominant left side of the infield defensively, but an incredibly weak one offensively. Something for which DD would have received criticism for as well.

    Since when do we analyze a trade based on numbers for the players BEFORE the trade?

    A trade is made based on the courting front offices making PREDICTIONS about the said players.

    This much was known:

    1: Renteria sucked in the AL.

    Ask any Red Sox fan. We paid for a 32-yr old career year at the plate in 2007.

    2: Jurrjens, at 25 (I think), came up last year and threw strikes. Atlanta saw something they liked, apparently.

    Which is more than could be said for the rest of the club at that portion of the season. JJ had been in the farm system for several years, so I’m guessing — just guessing — that DD and his cronies had plenty of “track record” for the kid.

    So the question is, who made the better prediction?

    Would you make that trade today?

    Seriously?

    No.

    The point is, it happens. You overpay. Big deal, AS LONG AS YOU LEARN FROM IT.

    So, no more stupid trade/FA acquisitions.

    I hardly view his season in Boston as representative of how he should be expected to play in AL.

    And yes it would be wonderful to not making any stupid trades or FA acquisitions but I don’t put this into a stupid category. The Tigers had a surplus of pitching at the time and they needed a shortstop to maximize their chances to cash in on a 1-2 year window.

  109. Mike R

    June 18, 2008 at 11:04 pm

    Dave: Elite defense and a bat that is the opposite of ‘elite’ would offset and make that person an average, overall, SS, no? Then you have a Renteria-like player who you got to via different means.

    For example: Brandon Inge is an average major league 3rd baseman. He’s probably a top 3 fielder at the position, and bottom 3 bat at the position. Thus, he’s average.

  110. Mark in Chicago

    June 18, 2008 at 11:09 pm

    but billfer, Jurrjens plays such an awesome shortstop we wouldn’t need a 3b and could have moved that guy to be a 4th outfielder. Plus he slugged eleventy-billion home runs in the minors. How can you say you like that trade?

    I really need to stop commenting on this topic because I’m tired of it now.

  111. Dave BW

    June 18, 2008 at 11:17 pm

    Mike, your argument relies on the value of offense and defense being roughly the same. You’d have to find out how many runs a great defensive SS saves and how many a great offensive SS creates. They don’t necessarily have any correlation at all with each other.

  112. Dave BW

    June 18, 2008 at 11:24 pm

    I don’t really care that much, but I think a team with the offensive credentials of the Tigers should be able to carry ONE pure defense player. Otherwise you turn into the Brewers, which is a Gehenna from which no sane fan can escape.

  113. Mike R

    June 18, 2008 at 11:44 pm

    Problem is Dave, we’re carrying Pudge/Inge already. Add onto that a dead bat at SS and Granderson’s dead bat against LHP (which wouldn’t be so dead if he continues to get starts against LHP like Jimmy’s been giving him lately) and that’s a rough 3 spots in your order.

  114. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 19, 2008 at 11:29 am

    “The Tigers corrected the mistake with Cabrera at 3b rather quickly. It took guts to move him to 1B the way Leyland did and it was something that needed to be done when it was done.”

    Wrong, Chief. Guts it wasn’t; desperation it was. If there was a mistake with Cabrera at 3B, the Tigers “corrected” it far, far, too late. In fact, they corrected nothing. Right after the trade was the time to plan, and spring training was the time for evaluation and decisions. The Tigers failed miserably on both counts, as far as I can tell, and it hurt the team big time. Helped put them in the hole they’re still trying to climb out of.

  115. Chris in Dallas

    June 19, 2008 at 11:53 am

    Mike: While Granderson hasn’t historically hit LHP very well, Inge has. So that’s like trading a dead bat for a live one in those situations. Just sayin’.

  116. Chief Monday

    June 19, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    “Wrong, Chief. Guts it wasn’t; desperation it was. If there was a mistake with Cabrera at 3B, the Tigers “corrected” it far, far, too late. In fact, they corrected nothing. Right after the trade was the time to plan, and spring training was the time for evaluation and decisions. The Tigers failed miserably on both counts, as far as I can tell, and it hurt the team big time. Helped put them in the hole they’re still trying to climb out of.”

    Spring Training had it’s downfalls. They didn’t expect Granderson or Rodney to get hurt either. That put them in a world of hurt to start the season. Then Willis wasn’t even close to being ready too. Brydak crapping out also put a hole in the pen.

    How could after 14 games be too late? They made decisions long before ST. When they made the Renteria trade, Guillen was moved to 1st, not 3rd. No one even dreamed that he would be moved to 3rd. Then they decided that Cabrera would take over for Inge at 3b.
    How could they have deviated from that plan in ST when the games are meaningless? It just took more time to evaluate the situation.

    Look at the Yankees. They have AROD at 3rd, but he should be playing 1st. And Jeter at SS, but he obviously should be playing 3rd. Are they short sighted for not making that move yet? Absolutely.

    The Tigers can’t be blamed for short sightedness, they made the Cabrera/Guillen switch just 14 games into the season and it is paying off right now.

  117. Chief Monday

    June 19, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    Jacque Jones in LF was probably the biggest mistake the team made. How many guys have started in LF this season? 8 have started in LF. Jones, Thames, Sheff, Guillen, Rayburn, Thomas, Clevlen, and Joyce.

  118. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 19, 2008 at 12:57 pm

    Chief

    I’m not going to look at the Yankees.

    Guillen was going to IB was the reason for the Renteria trade, not the other way around. Cabrera was acquired as a 3B and was the starting 3B the minute the trade was made – Inge would not have been shopped if that was not THE plan. Spring training games are not meaningless – only the final scores are meaningless.

    Lack of planning and failure to make decisions in a timely manner are not bad breaks like injuries are. There is no comparing them. Wllis wasn’t even close to ready after spring training, yet he was in the rotaion right away. Do you see that as a bad break, too?

    How is Cabrera at 1B and Guillen at 3B “paying off” now? Because they aren’t quite as bad in the field as they were, this is a net positive? Had Cabrera stuck at 3B and Guillen at 1B, we would have seen the same earlier.

    You may need to go back to Leyland’s comments at the time of switch to understand where I’m coming from. He made it sound like Cabrera at 1B was so obvious. Which makes you wonder, if so obvious – why wasn’t this the plan right away, or at least after spring training and right out of the gate?

  119. Chris in Dallas

    June 19, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    Guillen at IB? We’re using Roman numerals now? That Placido Planco is a whale of a IIB, I’ll tell you what. I kid, I kid. Anyway, speaking of Byrdak he’s been doing a nice job for Houston (1.71 ERA in 21 innings). And Chad Durbin’s been pitching well for Philly (1.51 ERA [!?] in 41 2/3 innings) . In case you were curious about The Departed. I personally don’t care, but I know many of you are masochists.

  120. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 19, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    Good eye, Chris. Now we understand why sabermetrics never caught on in the Roman Empire.

    I could say that it was intentional, with Carlos and Miguel being our Indeterminate Basemen.

  121. tiff

    June 19, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    other former tigers updates… Omar Infante hit a single to break the tie and help Atlanta win last night. I like that guy.

  122. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 19, 2008 at 2:31 pm

    Good to hear about Infante. I was listening to a Cubs game last week (not on purpose) when Infante came up as a pinch-hitter with the bases loaded late in a tight game. I wished him well. He struck out.

  123. Chief Monday

    June 19, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    Cabrera moving to 1st was obvious. Can’t really blame Leyland for the slow start either.

    Here’s the timeline-

    Game 1, Normal.
    Game 2, Normal
    Game 3, Cabrera couldn’t play because of a quadriceps strain. Also Sheffield tore a tendon in his finger.
    Game 4, Cabrera was the DH. Sheff out.
    Game 5, Cabrera was the DH. Sheff was still out.
    Game 6. Back to Normal, Cabrera at 3rd, Sheff at DH.
    Game 7. Normal. Tigers 0-7 now.
    Game 8. Tigers win 1st game of year. Cabrera makes his 3rd error.
    Game 9, Normal.
    Game 10, Willis hyperextends knee. Sheff sits with sore finger. Carlos Guillen strained his right hamstring running to first base.
    Game 11, Cabrera gets his 1st MLB start at 1B. Guillen sits.
    Game 12, Thames plays 1B, Cabrera back at 3rd, Guillen still sitting.
    Game 13, Guillen back. Cabrera starts at 3b, makes 4th error of year, then finished the game at 1b replacing Guillen.
    Game 14, Cabrera starts at 3b, then finished the game at 1b replacing Guillen.
    Game 15, Galarraga makes Tiger debut. Cabrera starts at 3b, then finished the game at 1b replacing Guillen.
    Game 16, Normal
    Game 17, Cabrera starts at 3b, then finished the game at 1b replacing Guillen.
    Game 18, Placido Polanco (stiff back) got the day off.
    Game 19, Cabrera start at 1B. Guillen at DH, Sheff out with sore shoulder, Polance out with stiff back.
    Game 20, Cabrera start at 1B. Guillen at DH, Sheff out with sore shoulder, Polance out with stiff back. Galarraga gets 2nd start and 2nd win.

    Game 21, Cabrera at DH, Guillen at 1b, Sheff out, Polanco still out. *After game Leyland announced after the game that Carlos Guillen and Cabrera were going to switch positions, effective immediately.

    Game 22, Cabrera at DH, Guillen at 1b, Sheff out, Polanco out. Granderson is finally back.
    Game 23, Cabrera at 1B, Polanco is back at 2B, Carlos Guillen is out (knee), and Sheff still out.
    Game 24, Sheffield is back. Guillen missed his second straight game with a bruised knee.
    Game 25, Guillen still out.

    Game 26, Guillen start at 3rd. Tigers finally have all regulars in the starting lineup for the 1st time of the season.

    Any need to keep going? Just looking at this time line could tell you the Tigers were going to be off to a terrible start because of all the injuries.

  124. Chief Monday

    June 19, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    What I should of said, that after seeing Cabrera play 1B for a few games it was obvious that he should be at 1B. It wasn’t so obvious before that though.

  125. tiff

    June 19, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    re: “interplay” i suppose I was thinking thread interplay, interLEAGUEplay… I guess I gave you more credit for being clever than you deserve ;-)

  126. tiff

    June 19, 2008 at 2:53 pm

    oops, wrong thread.

  127. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 19, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    Blaming injuries for the poor start now, Chief? You’re getting less plausible by the minute.

    A timeline is interesting, but I suggest using it to prove something. I gather that you think the Tigers started 0-7 due to Granderson being out, Sheffield missing 3 games, and Cabrera being bothered with a sore quadriceps.

    Look at the stats for Granderson’s replacements over the first 21 games, and also Sheffield’s stats for all the games he was in. Oh, so Gary was hurting. Should he have been in the lineup then? Good decision? Also have a look at the starting pitching during this time. Willis’s injury only prevented something worse.

    Cabrera moving to 1B was obvious, huh? But not obvious enough to be evident at the time of the trade, or during spring training. How does that work? Maybe all this was obvious to you, maybe you were calling for Cabrera to be a 1B when he was with the Marlins, but I don’t think you’ll find many people here who weren’t either surprised or downright mystified by Guillen to 3B and Cabrera to 1B. Especially the Guillen to 3B part. Was Guillen to 3B also obvious to you?

    You know, Chief, I am a Tigers fan. There’s no need to defend the Tigers as though I’m some troll from another team’s message board. There have been poor decisions and lots of poor play, and Leyland is no less culpable for the slow start than any of his players. He would the first one to tell you so.

  128. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 19, 2008 at 3:18 pm

    Yeah, tiff, you gave me too much credit. But I’ll save the extra credit for later. I now have a “Get Out Of Saying Something Stupid” card.

  129. Chief Monday

    June 19, 2008 at 3:18 pm

    Poor start was due to injuries and bad starting pitching. What would you blame it on? Renteria?

  130. Chris in Dallas

    June 19, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    I blame the poor start on the fact that they just played plain old bad baseball. Nothing went right. It all seems to be evening out now, though. Thank you, National League.

  131. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 19, 2008 at 3:22 pm

    Understand, Chief, I’m not saying Cabrera at 1B is bad, though it’s not necessarily great. How and when he got there says unflattering things about the Tigers’ decision-making process in this regard. In my opinion, and with hindsight.

  132. Chief Monday

    June 19, 2008 at 3:22 pm

    “Cabrera moving to 1B was obvious, huh? But not obvious enough to be evident at the time of the trade, or during spring training. How does that work?”
    How does it not work? Cabrera never played 1B before game 11. He played there because Guillen got hurt.

  133. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 19, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    “I blame the poor start on the fact that they just played plain old bad baseball.”

    Absolutely, Chief. Now we’re in agreement.

    No, I’m not a Renteria hater. Just a Renteria skeptic. FWIW, Renteria got off to a great start while the team struggled.

  134. Chief Monday

    June 19, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    “Was Guillen to 3B also obvious to you?”

    Guillen wasn’t obvious. He was terrible at 3b. I wanted to see him get a shot in LF and for Inge to be at 3rd to shore up the defense.

    Guillen has played rather good 3B lately though.

  135. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 19, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    “How does that work?” was asking how does the reasoning work. Leyland claimed at the time of the switch that Cabrera was some sort of natural 1B. Pretty sudden insight. If this were true (that Leyland knew he was a 1B natural, as you think an old baseball guy like him would without having to put a guy into a regular season game to find out), you’d think he would have spent some time there in spring training for a look. He may have, for all I know. Seems like it would have caused more of a buzz, but maybe I missed it.

  136. greg

    June 19, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    You are all incorrect, the poor start was due a low level Mojo.

    The Mojo level has risen significantly lately, leading to more wins.

    :-)

  137. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 19, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    Yes, Guillen has gotten better. I’d still rather have Inge there and Guillen at DH, but that’s a dead horse.

    What I object to is not the current settled state of affairs at 1B and 3B, but rather the costly adjustment period for a solution that was far from optimum.

  138. greg

    June 19, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    Word I heard was that Cabrera didn’t want to move to 1B until after his big contract. As, all else being equal, you’ll make more at 3B than at 1B due to supply & demand, and other factors. Once the money was locked up, he accepted the ‘inevitable’ of moving to 1B.

    Just what I heard.

  139. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 19, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    Greg, I’ve been trying to track that Mojo level, but when I try to look it up on baseball-reference.com, I get a “subscribers only” message.

  140. Kyle J

    June 19, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    Problem is Dave, we’re carrying Pudge/Inge already. Add onto that a dead bat at SS and Granderson’s dead bat against LHP (which wouldn’t be so dead if he continues to get starts against LHP like Jimmy’s been giving him lately) and that’s a rough 3 spots in your order.

    This is really neither here nor there, but Mike’s comment led me to look at Grandy’s left/right splits this season. He’s hitting .240 against left-handers, which is fairly encouraging relative to last season, but his OBP is only .269.

    Bizarre stat: He’s struck out only once in 25 AB vs. left-handers.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/pl.....pe=Batting

  141. Chris in Dallas

    June 19, 2008 at 3:39 pm

    Sean: You misquoted Chief. I said that, you ninny. Yes, I just called you a ninny. What do you have to say about it?

  142. Chris in Dallas

    June 19, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    Seeing the word “mojo” in print has now made me thirsty for a mojito. Thanks, everyone.

  143. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 19, 2008 at 3:42 pm

    “I blame the poor start on the fact that they just played plain old bad baseball.”

    Sorry, Chris, I mistakenly attributed that to Chief Monday.

    Can you not agree with your pal Chris, Chief Monday? Because it’s not like I blame the poor start entirely or even substantially on the 1B-3B switch. It’s symptomatic of bad decision-making, which I do blame, though not more than poor play.

  144. Chief Monday

    June 19, 2008 at 3:45 pm

    Cabrera does look like a natural at 1B. It’s obvious that he plays better at 1B than anywhere else on the field. That doesn’t mean he’s anything special at 1B though. He’s still a poor fielder, but he’s no worse than half of the other power hitting 1B in the major league, like Giambi, Konerko, Delgado, Howard, Fielder, ect..

  145. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 19, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    Ninny! That’s a first. I’ve never been called that before. I’m not sure what to make of it or how to react. But you should probably be very afraid right now, just to be on the safe side.

    (as Sean hurries to find the dictionary definiton of “ninny.”)

  146. Chris in Dallas

    June 19, 2008 at 3:48 pm

    Interesting note on Prince Fielder, as his name was just mentioned. He hit his 2nd career INSIDE THE PARK homerun today. The fat man can motor. Also, the Pirates and White Sox are locked in a 7-7 pitchers duel. Go Buccos.

  147. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 19, 2008 at 3:53 pm

    So I’m a fool, a simpleton. I’ve been flamed on message boards before, but never like this. I’m outta here.

    If you wonder where I’ve gone, I’ll be lurking over at sportsline.com, where the message boards are polite and intelligent, and nary an inflammatory comment by a dumb sports fan has ever been posted. Good day to you all.

    Wait. I am a fool and a simpleton. That’s no insult. Never mind.

  148. Chris in Dallas

    June 19, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    Sean: You need to be more thick-skinned to lurk on DTW. These posters are vicious I tell you.

  149. Chris in Dallas

    June 19, 2008 at 3:59 pm

    Since I’m assuming that most of you are baseball fans in general, I thought it might be polite to share that Dave Bush of the Milwaukee Brewers has a no-hitter through 7 innings against Toronto. Fire up the MLB Gameday if you want to follow along.

  150. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 19, 2008 at 4:01 pm

    I’m cool with Cabrera at 1B, now. I’d better be, because it’s not going to change. An important position is now covered for years into the future, and Cabrera won’t need to be wasted on DH so early in his career.

    I know Chris is wondering: So what’s an unimportant position? Shut up! Can’t you leave me alone, or at least be nice? You haven’t said anything, but I know what you’re thinking.

  151. Joel in Seattle

    June 19, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    Amazingly, Bush is doing it with only 1 K.

  152. Joel in Seattle

    June 19, 2008 at 4:07 pm

    And down it goes… Overbay triples to left to lead off the 8th.

  153. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 19, 2008 at 4:11 pm

    “You need to be more thick-skinned to lurk on DTW”

    That’s what I’m learning. I guess I was taken in by Billfer’s festive yet soothing graphics. The theme song from “Cheers” played in my head the first time I saw DTW.

    Talk about disillusion.

  154. Chris in Dallas

    June 19, 2008 at 4:21 pm

    I think the most unimportant position is pinch runner.

  155. Chris in Dallas

    June 19, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    Joel just typed something that may never again be uttered – “Overbay tripled”.

  156. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 19, 2008 at 4:29 pm

    “Bizarre stat: He’s struck out only once in 25 AB vs. left-handers.”

    Interesting. Might say something both about a changed approach to LHP and the lack of slugging against them, in one. Just a guess.

  157. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 19, 2008 at 4:30 pm

    I think the most unimportant position is bald dude. I mean ball dude.

  158. Chris in Dallas

    June 19, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    Freaking Pirates. Can’t you just throw me a bone and beat the White Sox? (And yes, the Pirates have relocated from Pittsburgh to Freaking. Thanks for asking.)

  159. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 19, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    Ah, it’s too early in the season to be worried about what the Freaking White Sox (and their crosstown rivals) are doing. Worry about the Twins instead. The White Sox are nothing without Aaron Rowand. And the Twins have Craig Monroe.

  160. Mark in Chicago

    June 19, 2008 at 5:22 pm

    “I’m cool with Cabrera at 1B, now”

    Sean, I actually disagree with this statement. Granted, that is the best position for Cabrera to play, and it’s great to have him in the lineup, but 1b is the easiest position to fill (next to DH). 3b is a much tougher position to fill with good hitters AND solid fielders (only like a dozen 3b in the HOF), so Cabrera had more value in the eyes of management when they thought he could play a respectable third. We could have stuck pretty much anybody and first and been fine if only Cabrera had been able to competently man third. Instead, we gave up a bunch of prospects (none of which play third, at least) and we still have to fill the position AND we can’t just put anyobdy over at first because Miguel is there for the next 7 years.

    At least we still have the flexibility to throw anyone at DH, but not until Sheff hangs it up.

  161. Mark in Chicago

    June 19, 2008 at 5:25 pm

    Also, I hate the White Sox and everything they stand for.

  162. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 19, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    I see that I mistook Granderson’s (2008) OBP for slugging in an earlier comment. But I see that his OBP is about the same against LHP for 2008 as 2007, despite a higher average.

    The platoon split for BAbip is extreme, though. I don’t know if that’s normal or not for a guy much better against either LHP or RHP. I suppose it could be.

  163. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 19, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    Mark, I would have preferred to just leave Cabrera at 3B, but now that we have what we have, I’ll take the silver lining. What you say reminds me of what I found wrong-headed about the switch to begin with.

  164. Mark in Chicago

    June 19, 2008 at 5:34 pm

    Yep, I agree there Sean. Tigers brass pooped the bed on where Miggy should play, but at least we have his bat in the lineup for the next 7 years.

    It’s a little sad he’s eaten his way to first base at age 25, but what can you do? Look for the silver lining, as you do.

    Damn you and your eternal optimism….

  165. Joel in Seattle

    June 19, 2008 at 5:38 pm

    “I think the most unimportant position is bald dude. I mean ball dude.”

    What about the Bal/Washer?

  166. Joel in Seattle

    June 19, 2008 at 5:45 pm

    Mark…

    1B is easy to fill, but who did the Tigers have there the last couple of years? Sean freakin’ Casey, that’s who. Swell guy, but finding a good 1B must be harder than it looks.

  167. Chris in Dallas

    June 19, 2008 at 5:54 pm

    Yeah Sean Casey got kinda hosed with the way it all turned out I guess. Fortunately Cabrera is an elite bat. We’ve only begun to see how good he actually is.

    I think MLB kinda crapped the bed when they named the Washington franchise. The DC Bal/Washers has a better ring to it than the Washington Nationals.

  168. Chris in Dallas

    June 19, 2008 at 5:55 pm

    Yikes. I just checked the MLB scores and that Milwaukee game went from a no-hitter thru 7 to an 8-7 final. Did the Tigers trade Cruceta to the Brewers?

  169. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 19, 2008 at 7:23 pm

    Mark, I didn’t want to say anything, but I notice that twice today (or within the last 24 hours) you’ve used the phrase “pooped the bed.” Are you trying to tell us something?

    You can confide in us. We’re very non-judgmental here, not to mention that minus the non-judg part. Chris in Dallas has already showed signs that you needn’t face this alone.

  170. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 19, 2008 at 7:25 pm

    “What about the Bal/Washer?”

    Joel, my position on that is that the bald dude gets to wash his own coin purse, whether he’s a golfer or not.

  171. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 19, 2008 at 7:30 pm

    I realized after my last post on Granderson that platoon splits for BAbip have maybe just a little bit of a connection with overall BA platoon splits. I shouldn’t even read stats when I’m getting ready to leave work, let alone try to analyze them.

  172. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 19, 2008 at 7:36 pm

    “Did the Tigers trade Cruceta to the Brewers?”

    Or Dolsi and Rodney? Or Fossum and Bautista? Or Miner and Seay? Or Lopez and Jones?

    No, they’re all still with the organization. Thank goodness.

  173. Mike R

    June 20, 2008 at 1:20 am

    Chris: A sub-.800 OPS against LHP is hitting them well for his career? .408 OPS against LHP for Inge this year (entirely small sample, I’ll grant you that. 35 PA’s I believe). He crushed them in 07 (.900+ OPS), hit RHP better in 2006 (.790 OPS versus RHP vs. .736 OPS vs. LHP that year).

    He hits LHP much better when compared to how he hits RHP. Still, not exactly elite.