The Tigers’ 14-4 spring training record is one of the best in the majors, and one of the best in recent Tigers history. They haven’t lost back to back games all spring. Largely inconsequential, yes; but it’s better than 4-14.
Spring Training stats are generally poor performance predictors, but let’s see if a deeper look can reveal anything.
Ryan Raburn is pacing the Majors with 6 HR and has a 1.336 OPS. Raburn is hitting a HR every 6.5 ABs, and off of starting pitching too. Raburn has had good springs in the past, but never with this level of power (9/12 hits are for extra bases). Curiously, though, he only has 4 walks (one of them was an IBB). I’d prefer a little more patience.
Raburn’s 18 RBI are 2nd in the Majors, behind Delmon Young’s 19. DY has 10/19 XBH. I think the left field position is secure.
Offensively, Cabrera has been up to his old tricks, so let’s take a look at the defensive numbers. 1 error in 58 1/3 is good news, however it looks like he’s not getting to many balls (or to them quickly), as evidenced by his 1.23 RF and 1 DP. I know that we have limited data to work with, but all of the reports coming out of Lakeland have been pretty high on his D. I think that the jury is still out. Good news is that he should be ready for opening day.
After those those four, the hitters have been unremarkable, until you get to our old friend Brandon Inge. Inge has, offensively, been the worst hitter this spring, scraping out only 3 XBH in 43 PAs. His .502 OPS is less than 10 others’ SLG (of those who are playing regularly). The number questioning how he makes this team year after year is increasing. Most of the Detroit press have conceded that he’ll be on the roster, but are starting to question the 2B job. Who knows, if the Tigers keep an extra OF (Patterson/Berry) then Worth may be the 2B guy.
Quentin Berry has played a pretty nifty CF, and it will be interesting to see if that translates into some time in the show this year. Let’s do a post on the just in/just out guys later this week.
It’s not the hitting that is winning all those games in Florida.
JV was featured in yet another TV spot, this time for MLB.com, where he predicted more complete games and hitting 107 (mph, I think). The more complete games is a fantastic goal for the season. Verlander has been very sharp this season striking out 20 in 20 2/3, but he has allowed 1+ first inning run in 2 out of his last 3 starts. Also, he’s getting significantly more ground outs this spring than usual…I’m not quite sure what to make of that. He’s going to throw 100 pitches on the 31st as his final warm-up for opening day.
Scherzer has been up and down in ST, but his last start out against a depleted Yankees line-up was pretty sick. Scherzer has struck out 21 in 20 IPs against only 5 walks, and he’s posting a 1.10 WHIP. He has hit 4 batters though. I don’t know if Scherzer is ready to be an ace, but this is his best ST by far.
But what about Fister as an ace? Fister’s first 2 STs were bad, to put it nicely. But this year he’s got a sub 1 WHIP (.90), 11Ks in 13 1/3, and a 5.5/1 K/BB ratio. He’s had 1 bad inning in 4 starts this spring.
The bullpen looks to be in mid-season form already. Everyone who should be on the 25 man looks great.
, other than David Pauley who only has 2 2/3 innings of work. I am particularly encouraged by Schlereth’s .100 BAA and 12ks in 9 IPs, though equally worried about his 5 BB.
I know that Inge talk is hot, I’ll put together a few notes on that later tonight so that we can keep a thread going through roster cuts.