Well, the Tigers start the 2nd half of the season tied for first place and with the most favorable schedule in Majors (yes that’s Majors – see ouchudied’s authoritative post) but with seemingly more roster questions that answers.
The glaring ones are at 3B and2B, where Inge and Raburn, respectively, have become post/text/email/twitter/headline trends, and not in a good way. Though they represent the majority of the PAs at 2nd and 3rd, their combined OPS would only be 61 points less than that of Jose Bautista. Raburn is what’s left of the lot of Sizemore and Worth, and is really just keeping the dirt warm at this point in time. Inge may be the most polarizing player in recent Detroit sports history, but even JL’s once unbreakable loyalty to him seems to be fading. But the Tigers also need another starting pitcher (they currently have 4 starters on the roster, though Furbush should be back soon), and some bullpen help.
Funny, because while there is little disagreement as to the vortexes at second and third, the Tigers seem fixated on a starter and potentially a corner outfielder. Jon Paul Morosi is of the opinion that Hiroki Kuroda is a top the Tigers wish list (Buster Olney confirms the pitching search), and Olney recently tweeted that the Tigers may pursue Carlos Beltran (and maybe Ulbado Jimenez?), mostly because of the Tigers’ willingness to absorb salary obligations.
It looks like Guillen will be our starting 2B sooner rather than later (he’s hitting now), though there is no official time table for his return.
On to tonight’s game. Due to masterful scheduling by the schedulers (and Ol’ Smokey), we get JV in back to back games. The White Sox come in for the beginning of an AL Central heavy rest of 2011. If we can continue to play above .500 ball against the Indians, White Sox and Twins, we likely win the division.
Tonight’s Ingeless Lineup:
1. Austin Jackson, CF
2. Brennan Boesch, LF
3. Magglio Ordonez, RF
4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
5. Victor Martinez, DH
6. Jhonny Peralta, SS
7. Alex Avila, C
8. Ryan Raburn, 2B
9. Don Kelly, 3B