Spring Training Box Scores

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.

9 thoughts on “Spring Training Box Scores”

  1. To be precise, they are 14-4-5; they have tied more games than lost!

    Raburn has more HR than BB – I’ll take that! As for more patience, since he is in a life-and-death battle with Babe Inge for the second base job, I can see his desire to put the ball in play. If he had 10 walks and no homers, we would all be saying “Oh oh, there goes Rayburn again with his typical poor start.” Even though we know his ridiculous start won’t transfer over the long term of the regular season, it is very encouraging.

    As for Young, I am still in shock, waiting for him to regress to his .265/.315/.450 self, but maybe ge really has blossomed into the player most of the experts have predicting for the last 5 or 6 years.

    Cabrera is Cabrera. The increased Tigers offense should more than offset any deficiencies in his D. They can always slap Kelly or Worth in at 3B late in the game, although I don’t like to think about pulling his bat out of the lineup. What we may see as the season progresses is Cabrera, Fielder, Young, Raburn and perhaps others rotating at DH – seems like the best way to give a guy a “day off” to me.

    And who was the 4th one?

    Berry and Patterson are out. A Thomas/Dirks scenario could provide the extra OF.

    The pitching staff is looking real good too. Even if they don’t get the #5 position reconciled immediately, they can get by without one for the first couple of weeks because of off-days. In that case maybe Below is the one to go north as he can work out of th BP as a long man while giving the other guys regular starts at Toledo (Smily’s age and Oliver’s control being the present concerns with those two alternative challengers), The bullpen is looking so good, that I am indifferent to who the final spot goes to, although I still worry a bit about Schlereth and his control. Pauley was released about two weeks ago and just signed with somebody else. With potentially 4 200+ innings starters, we may be able to go with an 11-man staff at some point, but not to start the season of course. Anyway, Leyland would never consider such an option, I am sure.

    1. Pauley signed with the Angels, his 6th MLB team already…he may be a long-term threat to Octavio Dotel’s 13-team record.

  2. That explains Pauley’s lack of work with the Tigers. Someone really should edit these things.

    You guys geared up for some Inge talk?

    1. Inge 1 for 2 yesterday, but Worth 2 for 4. Looks like advantage Worth to me, but maybe the brass will play the “loyalty” card?

  3. i went to the games in Lakeland on Sunday and Monday – Verlander, after getting hit pretty hard in the 1st inning settled down and pitched well (against a depleted Phillies squad), and Porcello pitched a solid game against the Fish on Monday. Verlander’s fastball topped out about 95, but Valverde reached 99 on a couple pitches (he looks 20-30 lbs lighter)… Porcello had good velocity (91-93 fastballs), and did a good job locating his pitches.

    About 6800 fans at each of those games… i sat about 6 seats away from Dombrowski and Al Avila, and i have to give both of them credit for sitting through the entire 10 innings on Monday – it was quite hot and not much of a breeze in the seats behind home plate. Leyland and Jones a/o Lamont sat at the edge of the backstop (out of the dugout) the whole game also.

    I’m still not crazy about the 5th starter options, but with that said, if all are healthy, ‘on paper’, this might be the best opening day roster in Detroit since ’84 – we shall see how that translates onto the field.

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