Game 2012.32: Tigers at Athletics

Yesterday we mentioned we would take a look at the Tiger DH performance.  Then again, you may want to avert your eyes.

Currently the Tiger DH line (BA, OBP, SLG, OPS) looks like this:

  • Tigers DH:  .192  .228  .283  .512
  • AL Avg DH:.263  .334  .454  .788

With those numbers we could have kept Brandon Inge, shifted him to DH, and come out ahead.

Of course the league averages include Detroit, who brings the numbers down. Detroit has edged Seattle out for 13th in the league, but those 2 teams are over 100 OPS points behind the 12th place team.

DH isn’t the only problem position for Detroit:  they are league worst at 2B, and 13th at RF production.  But DH is worse, since it is one of the most important positions for offensive production (that’s kind of the idea of it).

Based on 2012 league averages, DH is the most productive position at the plate;  based on the 2011 numbers, DH was slightly behind 1B as the most productive position.

It is still early, and things may improve.  But as with the Raburn numbers, there is a track record.  Look at Tiger DH performance over the course of the Leyland/Dombrowski era:

  • 2006  .256  .310  .464  .774  9th
  • 2007  .260  .364  .468  .831  5th
  • 2008  .218  .310  .388  .697  13th
  • 2009  .245  .325  .379  .704  13th
  • 2010  .259  .341  .373  .713  11th
  • 2011  .303  .354  .442  .796  4th
  • 2012  .192  .228  .283  .512  13th

It’s almost as if the team were built as a NL team, with the DH an afterthought, or a place to rest banged-up players (albeit a NL team with no speed and no ability to bunt).

It isn’t hard to see that Victor Martinez made a huge difference, solving an ongoing DH problem, which has now resurfaced.  Our 2012 DH could outdo the 2008 DH for lightweight hitting, and could lead to a similarly disappointing season.

Will the Tigers make a roster move to address the DH problem?  Does past history suggest they will cross their fingers, continue rotating bodies through the DH spot, and hope Martinez comes back?  What would you do?


Tonight’s Player of the Pre-game:  Danny Worth.  The Tiger 2nd Basemen are batting .159 (Raburn), .156 (Santiago), .125 (Inge), and .100 (Worth). But with the fewest plate appearances of the lot, a good game by Worth could vault him toward the top of the low 2B bar.

Tonight’s Why-Not-Just-Go-For-It-And-Bat-Raburn-4th Llineup:

  1. Austin Jackson CF
  2. Andy Dirks LF
  3. Miguel Cabrera 3B
  4. Prince Fielder 1B
  5. Delmon Young DH
  6. Ryan Raburn RF
  7. Jhonny Peralta SS
  8. Gerald Laird C
  9. Danny Worth 2B

41 thoughts on “Game 2012.32: Tigers at Athletics”

  1. Leyland likes the rotating DH thing (see above results), another area where I completely disagree. V-Mart turned out to be the exception to the rule only because he was injured and couldn’t catch and got plugged into the DH role full-time. Originally he was going to rotate between DH and backup catcher. I hate to sound like a broken record, but we wouldn’t be in the pickle we are in (sucky DH, sucky 2B) if they had taded Young for a REAL secondbaseman over the winter. Although V-Mart going down was unexpected it would at least have solved half of our current offensive production problems (and some defensive too). I think we are stuck with DY (who I equate with DH role) so don’t know how that situation can be improved. Secondbase is a big problem also and I have no idea what can be done about that immediately unless they want to bring up a MiL player. But then what to do with the other 2B dreck already on the roster. We are likely stuck with Raburn too. They need to get creative without giving up the farm. Maybe something will turn up by trading deadline, but that is an awfully long way off.

    1. Another way to look at it is that we have one of the better DHs in the league–but we’ve got him playing first.

    1. The first half of this game would make that appear to be the case. It’s either that or Cy Milone just has the Tigers handcuffed at the plate.

  2. So now Brandon Inge has as many RBI (16) for the season as Prince Fielder. Despite what Stephen says, I am not amused.

    1. A couple of grand slams will do that. To be fair to Prince, he hasn’t had too many of those type of opportunities.

      1. This is true–Fielder has, remarkably, only had 1 PA with bases loaded; Inge has had 5.

        On the other hand, Fielder has knocked in 16 with 71 runners on base during his plate appearances. Inge has knocked in 16 with 57 runners on base during his plate appearances.

        1. I have no doubt that Inge will be Inge again…He is what he is…But, the real alarming statistic for this offense, is how little both Cabrera and Fielder have done w/ a lot of traffic on the base paths. They need to perform at big time levels or we won;t score much, especially, if Young, Raburn and Peralta play the way that they have. I am not a big fan of Inge, but, he has outperformed the majority of the Tigers lineup.

    2. I havae every reason to believe that B. Inge will turn back into the pumpkin of a ball player that his numbers tell us he has been and that he will be as soon as Monday comes around if not sooner. He is in “show up my old team” mode.

  3. Batting Young and Raburn back-to-back creates a vacuum that sucks the air out of any kind of rally.

  4. Inge creeping up to the Mendoza Line as Raburn sets a new bar for the Rayburn Line with each AB.

  5. This team is kind of hard to read…part of you wants to believe that they will get on a roll and that is probably the reality,but, they still have a suspect bullpen outside of Benoit and Valverde (Which cost them in the ALCS) and how long can they stick w/ Young and Raburn? Young obviously, has more upside..but, major character flaws and he has under 10 RBI batting 5th!!! and to be fair…His big 2B, to drive in a couple runs…was an awful hanging slider or curve…A NL pitcher could have hit that pitch…Raburn is another story, where I understand, why Jim is playing him..He is the best option for the long term…But, how long do you wait? What if he is still hitting under.200 by June?

    1. They seem hard to read, but…maybe we are trying too hard? Perhaps they are just a .500 team.

  6. this just further proves how bad the blowpen is ..They can’t get out Inge and every single other team in baseball has no problem what so ever doing so…..

  7. Inge now has a higher 2012 slugging percentage (.500) than Miguel Cabrera (.492). Is there any Pepto-Bismol in this place?

  8. Where the heck did this bull pen come from? Below, Balester, Putkonen — never heard of them and I don’t want to see them again. Let’s leave them all in Oakland.

      1. Ah yes, part of the Ol’ Seay-Lyon combo. Seay tore his rotator cuff in 2009, tried to recover without surgery in 2010 (nope), then had surgery, and hasn’t pitched since.

        Lyon is pitching in obscurity. Or is it Houston? One of the two.

    1. Probably after the All-Star break. He is on the 60-day DL and eligible to come back June 3, but nobody is expecting him that early.

      1. Probably July 15th – August 1st timetable for Al-Al. He will need a month prior throwing hard.

        I predicted Balester wouldn’t make it to the All Star Game on the 25-man roster.
        Will Raburn make it thru next week?

        A few more changes are coming real soon. Close to panic-mode in the Comerica Park front offices.

        Inge did tweak his mechanics – thanks to a suggestion by Oakland’s hitting coach Chili Davis to not open his left foot as much.

  9. You can’t miss the answer to the DH problem. He’s the big dude playing first base.

      1. At this point Don Kelly can hit better than Young. Young’s career pattern has been slow start, hot in June and July, then cools off. Hopefully June brings something good.

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