Wilkin Ramirez recalled

The Tigers have called up Wilkin Ramirez. Ramirez is hitting .316 with 6 extra base hits and 5 walks in his last 10 games…with 13 strike outs. Casey Fien was optioned out. Fien had an impressive debut coming in with the bases loaded against the White Sox, but he struggled in Cleveland this weekend.

Those are the facts, but this move doesn’t make sense to me. Carlos Guillen is close to returning to the outfield and joining Marcus Thames, Ryan Raburn, Clete Thomas, and Magglio Ordonez in the corners. If there were an injury you’d think somebody would get DL’d. I can’t help but think there is another move on the near horizon.

UPDATE: Steve Kornacki reports that Ramirez will lead off and play left field.

40 Comments

  1. VegasTigers

    August 4, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    But can any of those corner guys play centerfield? I think Grandy does need to sit a little against lefties.

  2. Brian P

    August 4, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    My initial thought was that they’d leadoff Ramirez against Matusz, whom he might have seen in AAA and some prior success.

    • Dave T.

      August 4, 2009 at 4:13 pm

      From the game preview on cbs sports

      The 22-year-old left-hander was the fourth overall selection in the 2008 first-year player draft. He was 4-2 with a 2.16 ERA in 11 starts at Class A and was 7-0 with a 1.55 ERA in eight starts for Double-A Bowie.

  3. Dave T.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    Any bets on which Tigers are currently on waivers?

    Maggs, Robertson, Willis

    Maybe someone put a claim in on one of them…Although I don’t know why they would.

    • Walt

      August 4, 2009 at 4:29 pm

      Probably most of them.

      • billfer

        August 4, 2009 at 4:36 pm

        This is correct. Bondo, Guillen, Thames, Raburn, Lyon, Inge, Polanco also probably.

    • Mark in Chicago

      August 4, 2009 at 4:50 pm

      I would bet most of the team is on waivers. My understanding is that organizations will put substantially all of their players on waivers just to see who gets claimed (and would be a potential trade candidate) and perhaps try and sneak a player through so he can be traded later.

      There are obvious exceptions for teams that have no intention of trading a particular player (i.e. Verlander).

  4. Dave111

    August 4, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    Maybe they’re just groping around in hopes of tripping over a hot bat.

  5. Dave111

    August 4, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    Or maybe Granderson is getting the night off and they have no one else to play CF. Grandy could use a night off as some of his recent AB’s have been pretty ragged – as billfer mentioned in last nights post game.

    • Joel in Seattle

      August 4, 2009 at 4:35 pm

      I think Cletus can play CF. He played 16 games there last year at the MLB level, and 14 games there for Toledo this year.

  6. Tony

    August 4, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    Or maybe Mags is being released…nothing from Beck yet, so I would think there is more to the story.

    • Kurt

      August 4, 2009 at 4:35 pm

      Beck seems to have this series off.

  7. Brian P

    August 4, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    There more I think about it, with Washburn being a flyball pitcher, this is probably more of a defensive call-up than an offensive one.

    • billfer

      August 4, 2009 at 4:34 pm

      Wouldn’t be too sure about that. Wilkin is athletic but he’s not known for his defense. Grandy and Clete are the Tigers strongest outfield defenders. I don’t know that either will be in the lineup. That’s a concern.

  8. Craig

    August 4, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    This makes you wonder if this is indeed the end of Maggs, and his consecutive starts over the last week was a last change to get it going.

  9. Dave T.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    They have 3 stud pitchers and battlestar eats innings, maybe Leyland feels they don’t need a 12 man pitching staff, but can get by with a 6 man bullpen.

  10. Ken in Vegas

    August 4, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    With the trade deadline passed, what potential moves are there? I ask this because I know most everyone here is more knowledgable about the interworkings of a GM’s office than I am. We could either be a) releasing someone like Maggs (does this save us any money?) Certainly it does if he doesn’t reach x at bats, but have we really given up on him? b) Just looking for a hot bat at the expense of pitching depth. c) ?????
    What other moves are there?

    • Mark in Chicago

      August 4, 2009 at 4:46 pm

      Assuming Maggs is on waivers, they can trade him to any team that claims him (if somebody in fact claimed him). Or they can trade him to any team if he clears waivers outright.

      • Craig

        August 4, 2009 at 4:49 pm

        If somebody claims him the Tigers have two options

        1 they can pull him from waivers and attempt to trade with the claiming team

        2 they let the claiming team take him and his salary for nothing.

        Either way its what the Tigers need to do

  11. Mark in Chicago

    August 4, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    Question: would releasing Maggs trigger the option years in his contract as payable by the Tigers, or just the remaining salary for this year?

    Also, since Ramirez is leading off, maybe the objective is to move Granderson down in the order on a permanent basis. Just a thought.

    • Craig

      August 4, 2009 at 4:48 pm

      Releasing Maggs right now only makes the Tigers responsible for the remainder of this year and his buyout

      • Mark in Chicago

        August 4, 2009 at 4:51 pm

        Got it, thanks.

      • Keith (Mr. X)

        August 4, 2009 at 6:38 pm

        That’s not true at all. The Tigers would still be responsible for the contract if the option years kick in.

        Also what most people fail to realize is that Magglio is hitting lefty pitchers quite well. He has a .316 avg, .505 SLG, and a .874 OPS vs Lefties.

    • Ron

      August 4, 2009 at 5:24 pm

      Ramirez is less of a leadoff hitter than Granderson is. I can’t imagine that him being there is in any way permanent.

      • Mark in Chicago

        August 4, 2009 at 5:44 pm

        Ramirez posted a .351 OBP at Toledo while Granderson has .340 OBP. How exactly does that make him “less of a leadoff hitter” than Granderson?

        If speed/stolen bases is your thing, Ramirez was 30/39 in steals at Toledo (77%) while Curtis is 19/25 (76%).

        What is it that Curtis posseses that makes him a better option to lead off over Ramirez (aside from experience)?

        • Grand Cards

          August 4, 2009 at 5:54 pm

          I’ll take “He Strikes Out More and Walks Less Than Granderson” for $200, Alex.

          • Matt

            August 4, 2009 at 6:03 pm

            Can we really compare stats from the minors with stats in the majors?

          • Mark in Chicago

            August 4, 2009 at 6:04 pm

            And how does a higher K% hurt his value as a leadoff hitter? For that matter, how does a lower BB% hurt his value when his OBP (1-outmaking) is higher?

            I am not saying Ramirez is the proto-typical leadoff hitter, I’m saying he’s not a worse option than Granderson.

            EDIT: There’s no guarantee that Ramirez’ AAA numbers will translate to the majors, but he has at least exhibited an acceptable skillset to serve as a leadoff hitter. To dismiss him as a leadoff hitter without citing any particular reason why doesn’t make sense to me.

      • Coleman

        August 4, 2009 at 6:08 pm

        If you look at actual leadoff at-bats only–as in ABs beginning the game–Curtis is one the worst leadoff hitter in the AL, with a 2-1 strikeout to walk ratio and only 16 runs scored. His stats leading off other innings besides the 1st are also bad–Larish, Cabrera, Inge, Santiago, Ordonez, and Raburn are all better. His stats “while batting 1st” aren’t bad, but the hits come in the later innings when he isn’t actually leading off anything.

        His leadoff “speed” if any has been of small use. Again, in 1st innings, he has stolen only 4 bases in 6 attempts, while being on the front end of the Polanco GIDP 6 times (considering which you have to wonder why Leyland doesn’t have him running more often, but that’s another story).

        While I agree Granderson needs a day off right now, I wouldn’t mind seeing him come back in the middle of the order, which I think would benefit him, and Cabrera, with the only downside being several fewer ABs.

        • Coleman

          August 4, 2009 at 6:12 pm

          Correction to the above: Granderson has been 1st inning GIDP bait 5 times, the other Polanco 1st inning GIDP was one of the games when Raburn was leading off.

          • Mark in Chicago

            August 4, 2009 at 6:16 pm

            Part of the solution might be getting Polanco out of the 2-spot in the order, but that’s probably just crazy talk.

          • Coleman

            August 4, 2009 at 6:26 pm

            Oh man, you don’t have to convince me of that–either part of it. It’s one of those “Polanco is a 2 hitter” things so embedded in Leyland’s mind that even if you convinced him the Tigers would score more with Polanco somewhere else in the order…he would leave him batting 2nd anyway. Leyland actually made a comment once about how Polanco is the guy you want up after Granderson hits a triple–actually he may be right there, but how often does THAT happen. I’d rather see him batting 6th and making contact with a runner on 3rd instead of watching Thames/Raburn/whoever strikeout. He’s actually a pretty good RBI guy.

        • Ron

          August 4, 2009 at 6:28 pm

          I know he’s been bad leading off, but I don’t think we can make too much of it. Far too small of a sample size. I definitely agree that his overall OBP/BA etc. are far too low and he should probably reevaluate his hitting approach in the offseason.

          Not to say that I don’t think Granderson shouldn’t be leading off – he really isn’t a leadoff hitter. Too bad he is the best we have, kind of, this year.

          • Coleman

            August 4, 2009 at 6:35 pm

            He was among the worst in the AL last season also.

            I suppose you could wait until he retires, look at a large sample size, and say, hmm, I guess maybe he should’ve been batting 5th…

          • Ron

            August 4, 2009 at 7:47 pm

            There’s no doubt he’s not a leadoff hitter. But it is what it is until we have something better.

  12. Pingback: Game 2009.105: Orioles at Tigers

  13. Cary

    August 4, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    So, Wilken Ramirez is the equivalent to a deadline trade? Hoo boy! I’m glad Mr. Washburn isn’t accustom to run support. The good news is, Carlos Guillen is looking like the professional hitter he is capable of being. All in all though, this season has been a rollercoaster ride and a blast. Have fun with it Tiger fans.

  14. Pingback: Tiger Geist » Blog Archive » Roster movement?

  15. Coleman

    August 4, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    The discussion of Granderson leading off reminds me of a point I’ve been meaning to make for a while, which is that I think Granderson and Inge have been underappreciated for what they’ve done this season as far as taking pitches.

    It’s easy to sit here and complain about the Tigers letting pitchers off easy with low pitch counts (which they certainly do, with the lowest pitches/plate appearance in the entire league); what’s not as obvious is the toll that can take on the guys making a consistent effort.

    Inge and Granderson have been 1-2 on the team the entire season in pitches / plate appearance; in fact they are the ONLY two on the team above league average, and no other team only has 2 average or above guys. In other words they have been going it alone in a 2-man pitch-count war.

    This is completely speculative, but I think this is part of Granderson’s problem at the plate, and part of his tentative swing-taking good pitches-swinging at bad pitches funk. Granderson has said that batting leadoff and 5th are very different, because you’re playing a different role. I think working the pitch count is part of what he sees as his leadoff role, and has been giving him trouble.

    Any time you take a 1st pitch for strike one your odds of getting on base plummet; once you get 2 strikes good luck, you’re in Sardinha land. Inge has had a ridiculous 245 PAs begin with an 0-1 count, and started 0-2 122 times. It’s pretty incredible what he’s accomplished considering.

    As of last week, there was *one* player in the major leagues leading his team in both RBI and PPA, and he’s a Tiger.

    When people have griped about Cabrera swinging at 1st pitches, billfer and others have rightly been quick to point out why this is not a bad thing: Cabrera is batting .400 with a 1.086 OPS on 1st pitch hitting.

    Try these numbers also: .480/1.519 (Inge), .407/1.407 (Granderson).
    Well why in the world don’t they swing at 1st pitches more? Because they are the Pitch-Count Duo, doing what they think is best for the team.

    A noble effort; but also I think a doomed one. Two guys can’t do enough to make a difference. The difference between DET being worst and way worst in PPA I think is minimal–you need a lot more pitches to affect the game (look at Tampa Bay for a good example of how this works–almost the entire team is above league average, and they go through opposing pitchers quickly).

    It may not matter much for Inge at this point, but I think Granderson may as well swing away and stop worrying about working pitchers; I think moving him to 5th in the order will make this easier on him. Forget the pitch count, let’s see a few more of those 1.407 OPS ABs!!

    • scotsw

      August 4, 2009 at 8:07 pm

      Coleman and Billfer are more interesting and knowledgable writers than any of the guys writing for the Michigan media, at least as far as baseball nuts-n-bolts. Some other people here add a lot of great info, too. Why I keep coming back.