Tigers Minor League Wrap 6-18-08

Toledo – DNP

Erie 5 Binghamton 4
Deik Scram, Wil Rhymes, and Dusty Ryan all had 2 hits including a homer for Ryan. Josh Rainwater allowed 4 runs, 2 of which were earned, in 6 innings.

Lakeland 2 Sarasota 8
Gary Sheffield struck out, flied out, and bounced out twice to second. Mike Bertram had the only extra base hit with a double. Ramon Garcia walked none and fanned 5 in 6.2 innings of 3 run ball.

West Michigan – DNP

Oneonta 8 Vermont 1
Keith Stein homered and singled. Carlos Ramirez also went yard. Luke Putkonen allowed just 3 hits and a walk while fanning 5 in 5 shut out innings. Tyler Stohr pitched a scoreless inning with 2 K’s.


  1. Sam

    June 19, 2008 at 9:54 am

    Sheff struggling to hit Class-A ball is not a good sign. Why can’t the guy just retire already. If he is worried about losing money, put him on the 60-day DL and let him collect the rest of the year (and next). The only upside to this trade, is that none of the 3 prospects that we gave the Yanks has made the Majors.


  2. Mark in Chicago

    June 19, 2008 at 10:18 am

    Sounds like Sheff is ready to return, if you ask Leyland.

  3. Ronnie

    June 19, 2008 at 10:21 am

    Sounds like Leyland needs to retire as well.

  4. Dave BW

    June 19, 2008 at 11:05 am

    On the plus side, Enerio del Rosario on Sarasota gets to tell his parents he struck out Gary Sheffield.

  5. Chris in Dallas

    June 19, 2008 at 11:14 am

    Enerio del Rosario sounds like a made up name. Someone needs to investigate this.

  6. Chris in Dallas

    June 19, 2008 at 11:14 am

    Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that Sheffield isn’t going to retire until he hits his 500th HR. So he’s on pace to reach that milestone in 2013. Better get used to him.

  7. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 19, 2008 at 11:52 am

    When is the three-name trend going to really catch on in MLB? It seems to have been going strong in acting ever since I first heard the name Sarah Jessica Parker, way back when. Someone needs to investigate good Tigers candidates. Marcus Markley Thames is a good start.

    Things like “de la” and “del” don’t count. Those are just cop-outs.

  8. Chief Monday

    June 19, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    “Sheff struggling to hit Class-A ball is not a good sign. Why can’t the guy just retire already.”

    I’d rather have Sheff in the dh spot than all the rookies and scrubs who can’t hit or get on base. Sheff still had a .344 OBP despite hitting .213. That’s higher than granderson, pudge, renteria, inge, thames, clete, joyce, raburn, clevlen, larish, and joyce.

    I will agree that Sheff shouldn’t come back until he is 100% healthy though. We need to get him ready for the stretch run and the playoffs, when the games matter most.

    If Sheff has some clutch base hits in the playoffs, he’ll be a legend in this town. His early season slump will be forgotten faster than I can say “I told you so”.

  9. Chief Monday

    June 19, 2008 at 8:19 pm

    The Tigers have been winning (10-2) since June 7th, the day it was reported that Bonderman has a blood clot. The team has really pulled it together since then.

    Any coincidence?

  10. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 19, 2008 at 9:01 pm

    Gary Sheffield, 2008:

    .331 SLG, lower than his OBP.

    A home run every 42 at bats.

    12 RBI, 33% of MLB average for 163 PA

    Men on .143/,325/,238

    RISP .188/.333/.344

    60 PA in DP situations, 7 GDP

    Compare Guillen, Cabrera, or Thames, all viable #3 or #6 hitters. Compare all scrubs and rookies combined who have filled in for Sheffield, and I doubt that the numbers could be worse than Sheff.

    We all hope that Sheffield will come back strong, but don’t ignore the cost of hoping too hard or waiting too long, which has already cost the team.

  11. Chief Monday

    June 19, 2008 at 10:14 pm

    I’ll list more than just the rookies and scrubs at DH-

    Larish .162 avg, 37 ABs, 6 hits, 3 walk, 3 runs, 5 RBI’s
    Guillen .067 avg,15 ABs, 1 hit, 1 walk, 0 runs, 0 rbi’s,
    Raybun .000 avg, 3 ABs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 run, 0 rbi
    Joyce .500 avg, 8 ab, 4 hits, 1 walk, 2 runs, 2 rbi’s
    Cabrera .200 avg, 15 ab, 3 hits, 5 walks, 4 runs, 5 rbi’s
    Thames .208 avg, 24 abs, 5 hits, 3 walks, 4 runs, 1 rbi
    Ordonez .333 avg, 27 AB’s 9 hits, 3 walks, 6 runs, 5 rbi’s

    Totals .217 avg, 129 AB’s, 28 hits, 16 walks, 20 runs, 18 rbi’s

    Sheff .214 avg, 117 AB’s, 25 hits, 20 walks, 16 runs, 10 rbi’s

    What do you say about that?
    If it’s not one thing it’s another. People use to accuse Sheff of milking his injuries earlier in his career. Now they blame him for playing in pain. He can’t win either way because people will always hate him.

  12. Chief Monday

    June 19, 2008 at 10:25 pm

    So Sheff played in pain, but he still did about as good as everyone else combined at DH. Wonder what Sheff will do not in pain? HOF NUMBERS!

  13. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 20, 2008 at 12:09 am

    “What do you say about that?”

    I’d say Sheffield’s replacements outperformed him in virtually every offensive category, with the possible exception of OBP. You seem to have left out HR – I’m pretty sure the replacements hit more than 1 per 45 AB or 1 per 57 PA (I’m not just looking at DH stats for Sheffield). Guillen, Thames, and Cabrera at DH would have utterly smoked him, and these were options – with no downside – constantly available to the team from the beginning.

    I don’t hate Sheffield the man or the player. I don’t like what having him in the lineup for 2 months did to the team. If Sheffield is in pain and doesn’t say so, he doesn’t get a pass for hurting the team with subpar performance. If Leyland thinks or even suspects Sheffield is hurt and still keeps him in the lineup, he doesn’t get a pass for allowing Sheffield’s performance to hurt the team.

    Rebut this, if you like, and then let’s move on. I’m not denying what Sheff could do, so maybe you could stop denying that what he has done in 2008 has, simply put, hurt the team. The Detroit Tigers are more important to me as a team than any of the individual players are.

  14. Mike R

    June 20, 2008 at 1:12 am

    Can’t hit A-Ball hitters? Apparently no one looked at the last minor league wrap in which Sheffield DID homer. He’s on a rehab stint, and if healthy, he can hit. We know this. So him going 0-fer in a game in High-A is not important.

    And Sean: Outperforming people in OBP is a pretty important thing. It’s nice that others are driving the ball, but all are making outs a more frequent pace. Obviously Sheff’s terrible SLG is killing the team (especially in the 3rd spot) but I’d rather have the lower slugging and higher OBP than the inverse.

  15. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 20, 2008 at 1:39 am


    I get what you’re saying about OBP, but I have to believe the “scrubs” still outperformed Sheff in terms of runs created. Well, I don’t have to believe it, but I will until I’m shown otherwise.

    Since there’s no way to not play Sheffield when he comes back, my questions for what you would do (not a guess on what Leyland will do, because we know the answer to that) on his return are these (you can be manager and GM both):

    a) Where do you bat him? Leadoff?

    b) Do you play him every day right away, or do you go slow?

    c) If he thinks he’s up for another shot in LF, do you give it to him?

    d) What is acceptable performance?

    e) How long do you wait to obtain acceptable performance?

    f) What do you do if the acceptable performance doesn’t happen by the deadline?

  16. Mike R

    June 20, 2008 at 2:10 am

    Sheffield had a Runs Created total of 15, in 39 games or, 0.385 RC per game.

    Jeff Larish: 5, 13 games; .385
    Matt Joyce: 5, 18 games; .278
    Ryan Raburn: 4, 39 games; .103
    Clete Thomas: 9, 22 games; .410

    So, only Clete Thomas has out performed him this year in terms of runs created and much of that came with Clete’s hot start. He’s cooled significantly. He was 10-for-his-first-23 with a couple doubles. Since then, he’s 9 for his last 42 with 2 doubles, 1 triple.

    Obviously it’s hard for him (and any part time players) to get into a rhythm while they aren’t playing every day and/or are shuffled off to Toledo.

    As for your questions:

    A) I wouldn’t be opposed to Leadoff, but I’d probably go lower in the order. 7th-ish. I wouldn’t be opposed to a Polanco/Sheffield/Guillen/Magglio/Miggy/Granderson/Thames/Renteria/Pudge or Inge. I’d also switch Granderson and Thames depending on the handedness of the pitcher.

    B) Slow.

    C) No.

    D) Somewhere around .265/.380-.390/.430, at this stage in his career. That’s an .810-.820 OPS from the DH spot. If I’m reading the chart right on baseball prospectus, the average DH in the AL is hitting .249/.337/.420 for an OPS of just .757.

    E) I don’t think you can really set a timetable. I mean, is he really holding back someone? It’s one thing if he’s taking time away from Marcus Thames by playing LF, but it’s another thing if he’s sucking in the DH spot where there’s not exactly a plethora of options that would be better. Especially with Inge hurt, Guillen has to stay at 3rd. And even if Inge weren’t hurt he’s rotation with Ivan means he wouldn’t be playing much 3rd anyways.

    F) I don’t think the deadline has much to do with it. We don’t have the chips to go get a top flight hitter (Adam Dunn) to be our DH. And with the offense we have, it’s not that imperative. We’re stuck with Sheffield’s contract through 2009. Whether he’s on the field in 2009 is a different topic altogether.

  17. Chief Monday

    June 20, 2008 at 5:53 am

    It’s always been my theory that a base hit or a walk with men on base that leads to 1 rbi, is just as good as a homerun. That’s why I didn’t include homeruns in my list. Homeruns is perhaps the most over-rated stat out there since it already adds 1 rbi and 1 run to the stat column.

    A walk with men on base moves up the base runner into scoring position, to 3rd base, or scores a run. Walks, like sacrifice bunts, greatly improve the RBI chances for the hitters behind them. All this is done without making an additional out and without the risk of an out. It puts more pressure on the pitcher and the defense too.

    For these reasons a hitter who can collect walks at a good pace is far more valuable to a team than a player who has difficulty collecting walks.

  18. Chief Monday

    June 20, 2008 at 6:23 am

    “I’d say Sheffield’s replacements outperformed him in virtually every offensive category, with the possible exception of OBP.”

    Not if you take Ordonez and Cabrera out the mix. I put those guy in my list to even up the score because Sheff was better than the rooks and scrubs by a landslide. Look at the list again please.

    “You seem to have left out HR ”

    So? I like a homerun as much as the next guy, but if someone like Thames only has 1 rbi at DH in 24 Ab’s, what does that tell you? Why does he get a free pass for stinking when he’s at DH? Why does Guillen get a free pass when he hit .067 at the dh spot? Guillen might of been hurt, but Thames certainly wasn’t.

    random thoughts-

    Why do they keep playing Larish? Probably just to make Sheff look good.

    If Clevlen could hit and gets some walks, I’d be all for him being the everyday RF and moving Ordonez to the full time DH.

    I’m always going to try to put a positive spin on everything to do with Tigers. I rarely dwell on negatives, with the exception of Jacque Jones. I was even pro-Grilli and I’m definately pro-Minor. Am I glad Grilli is gone? Yes.

    Anyways, I’m looking to forward to seeing Sheff mash the ball again. I’m sure at some point he’ll be playing in pain again. He’s just going to have to figure it out, which I think he already did. Just before he strained his oblique, he started lifting his front foot more to help him time the pitches. This had very positive results. He hit .360, 9 for 25 and his batting avg went up from about .180 to .210 after about a week of doing this.

  19. Chris in Dallas

    June 20, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    “Homeruns is perhaps the most over-rated stat out there since it already adds 1 rbi and 1 run to the stat column.”

    Not to pick nits, but that’s why HR are so valuable. So much accomplished with 1 swing of the bat. And if men are on base, all the better.

  20. Chief Monday

    June 20, 2008 at 6:09 pm

    I just looked up some lifetime splits for Thames and I nearly crapped myself.
    Thames has a lifetime .579 avg with the bases loaded? Good god. I never knew.

  21. Chris in Dallas

    June 20, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    Well you may have *nearly* crapped yourself, but I actually *did* crap myself when I saw his OPS in those situations (I’ll give you a hint – it’s a 4 digit number starting with a 2). Then I realized it’s only 19 AB…

  22. Chief Monday

    June 20, 2008 at 6:28 pm

    I saw that too. 2.030 OPS. That’s ridiculous. I have a new found respect for Thames. He da’ man even if it is just 19 ab’s.