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How would your opening day line-up look?

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Postby moochman » Tue Feb 07, 2006 4:44 pm

MotorCityKitties wrote:
mcqfesijiba wrote:9) Granderson/Logan, CF - As mentioned before, if Logan looks good in the spring, I think he can steal some ABs from Granderson vs. LHP. Until then I give Granderson the upper hand.



Hey fellas. Not too many tiger fans around here I see.

I'm not a Logan fan. I hope Granderson has an incredible spring and Logan heads north knowing he will be a pinch runner and defensive replacement. Anyhow here is my opening day lineup.

Assuming Redman

1)Inge
2)Polanco
3)Shelton
4)Maggs
5)DY
6)Guillen
7)Monroe
8)Pudge
9)Granderson

What do you guys think it will look like against righties.


Welcome aboard, MCK!
Should Redman start, though I figure it would be Greinke, here is how I set my line-up.

I have a problem with both you and mcqfesijiba hitting Pudge so far down the line-up. Not that I don't think others would do better hitting higher, but that I want him as happy as I can make him. We saw last year how a pouting pudge does, and that's not good enough. So I would hit Pudge 3rd or 5th until he proves he can't drive in runs anymore and then move him down.

Inge, I just don't see as a lead off hitter. Let him settle in the 8 or 9 hole and put in a solid season. Maybe if he can just concentrate on hitting and playing 3rd it would be better for all.
Is ST ever going to get here?
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Postby mcqfesijiba » Wed Feb 08, 2006 9:32 am

moochman wrote:I have a problem with both you and mcqfesijiba hitting Pudge so far down the line-up. Not that I don't think others would do better hitting higher, but that I want him as happy as I can make him. We saw last year how a pouting pudge does, and that's not good enough. So I would hit Pudge 3rd or 5th until he proves he can't drive in runs anymore and then move him down.
Given his performance last year, you have to be cautious about having him too high in the lineup. The only guy at this time I would consider moving down for him would be Monroe. But Monroe was clearly the better run producer last year, despite hardly being perfect himself. Dmitri? He struggled with conditioning and plate discipline last year and was still right near the top of the teams biggest homerun threats. Shelton and Ordonez aren't moving down anytime soon. He still has spring training to prove himself, so I can't count Pudge out yet.

moochman wrote:Inge, I just don't see as a lead off hitter. Let him settle in the 8 or 9 hole and put in a solid season. Maybe if he can just concentrate on hitting and playing 3rd it would be better for all.
Is ST ever going to get here?
Only against LHP would I have Inge up in leadoff. Check the splits. There is a huge difference for Inge in performance against lefties and righties. Against RHP he would move down to 8th or 9th in the lineup with everyone else moving up, and possibly Guillen to leadoff as my first lineup indicates.

FYI, Inge's splits for 2005:
AVG/OBP/SLG
vs LHP: .281/.382/.461 and a 22/27 BB/K ratio
vs RHP: .256/.315/.408 and a 41/113 BB/K ratio

Going back a little more to 2004 for a larger sample size:
vs LHP: .327/.386/.530 and a 16/27 BB/K ratio
vs RHP: .258/.308/.400 and a 16/45 BB/K ratio

I don't want to go back anymore because before 2004 Inge's numbers were bad no matter how you look at them, but the trend was still there that he was better vs LHP.

If Inge can get on base at around a .380 pace against LHP consistently, don't you think having him atop the lineup is reasonable in that situation? Some people don't like the idea of having two completely different lineups based on matchup, but I see a potentially lethal lineup there with Inge at leadoff vs LHP.
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Postby moochman » Wed Feb 08, 2006 10:23 am

Given those numbers Inge would seem to be a good lead-off hitter against lefties. I wonder if the moving up and down in the line-up might fatigue Inge mentally. He has faded terribly the last couple seasons. I would want to try to have him settle in at the bottom of the order and see if he can't concentrate more on his overall game.
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Postby Dannomyte » Wed Feb 08, 2006 8:36 pm

My opening day line-up.

1- Polanco 2B- Always seems to be on base. Doesn't have great speed like you look for out of a lead off hitter but is a smart baserunner.

2- Guillen SS- When healthy the guy has hit the ball well in a Tigers uni.

3- Shelton- 1B- Excited to see what he does with a full season. A .300 AVG 30 HR 100 RBI is not inconceivable.

4- Magglio RF- A healthy Maggs is a hitting Maggs. May never hit 30+ HR again but I'll take a .300 AVG and 100+ RBI any day of the week.

5- Da Meathook DH- Contract year and all of the sudden DY has some incentive to lose weight and put up good numbers this season. I expect a nice rebound season.

6- Pudge C- Hopefully Ivan's divorce was the cause of most of his mental problems at the plate. Wouldn't suprise me to see him return to his 2004 form hitting the ball back up the middle over and over.

7- Craig Monroe LF- Solid all around player. A repeat of last years numbers is likely and he may improve on them slightly.

8- Brandon Inge 3B- I may lead him off against some lefties like others have suggested but I'm just not that big of a fan of Inge's. I personally think the Tigers dropped the ball by not offering Russell Branyan a minor league deal like the D-Rays did. A leftie/rightie platoon of Inge and Branyan at 3B would have been lethal. Unfortunately, the Tigers still think Inge is an every day 3B. I personally don't.

9- Curtis Granderson CF - Granderson strikes out way to much to be a lead-off hitter imo. Ton of talent and potential. Keeping as much pressure as possible off of him by batting him 9th should help his confidence. Not to mention it sets up the top of the line-up nicely with speed on base when he does get on.
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Postby moochman » Thu Feb 09, 2006 12:00 pm

Nice analysis, Danno ;-D

Couldn't agree more with you on Inge and the Tigers failure to address the hole at 3rd. A total mystery to me that stinks of trying to push Inge off as an everyday player so they can say their minor league system did produce something.
I think that Shelton may not start opening day so they can parade Pena out there and see if he can hit....again. Young will start instead of Shelton because they have to try and justify not only his bloated contract, but his very existance on this team. He shows way too many signs of being done to me. So Chris may not be in the opening day line-up.

Both Shelton and Inge expose some questionable thinking by DD. Why over-pay for two players (who are incosistant and play a position that is easily the deepest in baseball.
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Postby Dannomyte » Thu Feb 09, 2006 12:29 pm

Both Shelton and Inge expose some questionable thinking by DD. Why over-pay for two players (who are incosistant and play a position that is easily the deepest in baseball.


I agree with Inge being overpayed at $3M but Shelton?? Come on, he is still working on his minor league deal if I'm correct so he is likely making less than $1 million. Not bad at all for a guy with .300+ AVG 30 HR 100 RBI potential that is still only 25 years old. Sure he plays at the deepest position in baseball but the guy can flat out rake. His OBP was also 4th or 5th best among 1B in the AL in his 1st prolonged stint in the field at the major league level. Besides Polanco, Shelton was the only other Tiger that didn't make me cringe when he came to the plate last season. Good stuff if you ask me. Maybe you meant to say Pena and his crap($2.8M) contract instead of Big Red.
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Postby mcqfesijiba » Thu Feb 09, 2006 1:04 pm

Dannomyte wrote:
Both Shelton and Inge expose some questionable thinking by DD. Why over-pay for two players (who are incosistant and play a position that is easily the deepest in baseball.


I agree with Inge being overpayed at $3M but Shelton?? Come on, he is still working on his minor league deal if I'm correct so he is likely making less than $1 million. Not bad at all for a guy with .300+ AVG 30 HR 100 RBI potential that is still only 25 years old. Sure he plays at the deepest position in baseball but the guy can flat out rake. His OBP was also 4th or 5th best among 1B in the AL in his 1st prolonged stint in the field at the major league level. Besides Polanco, Shelton was the only other Tiger that didn't make me cringe when he came to the plate last season. Good stuff if you ask me. Maybe you meant to say Pena and his crap($2.8M) contract instead of Big Red.
Yeah, I can almost guarantee he meant Pena. Doesn't matter to me if Pena is a bit overpaid. He'll either be contributing in some fashion, or he'll be traded before he gets the chance. Probably not traded for much, but something is better than nothing. For now, he can keep Dmitri on his toes by competing with him for a starting job. Somebody is going to need a 1B, and I'm sure Carlos will have to get some consideration. I've heard the Yankees have been having on and off again interest in him, with Andy Phillips being their current best option at the position.

Is Inge being overpayed? Maybe, but even if he is, it's negligible as he has been a mostly positive contributor over the past two seasons. Fortunately, both are only one year deals, so there is little commitment there.

On topic: If there was a lineup that I WANTED (instead of what I think it will be) and my idea of a lineup based on matchups (with Inge at leadoff vs LHP, Guillen vs RHP) wasn't going to be used, I would go with dannomyte's lineup. There's still lots of time, but I definitely remembering reading quotes from Leyland that as of now, Polanco is penciled in as the #2 hitter. Polanco doesn't walk much, but his career OBP is definitely in the area of an average leadoff hitter which is in the .340's. Not quite Inge's level against lefties, but with Polanco you could count on him almost every day.
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Postby moochman » Thu Feb 09, 2006 1:34 pm

Sorry for the confusion. What I meant was with Inge and Shelton was that Inge showed the inability to find a competent 3B, while Shelton showed how easily you can find a DH/1B type instead of over-paying: Grossly for Young, and moderately for Pena.

Shelton is a bright hope for the team. A rare position player who is young and has skills.
Taking it further I could say that Polanco hitting lead-off shows another need that DD has been unable to address. My point being that he over-emphsizes pitching leaving the minors barren of position player talent. That is why, IMO, we have such a dysfunctional team. Can't run, can't field, and no immediate hope on the horizon.

mcq, does Mayben have a gun for an arm? I would love to see an outfielder who can throw.
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Postby mcqfesijiba » Fri Feb 10, 2006 9:40 am

moochman wrote:mcq, does Mayben have a gun for an arm? I would love to see an outfielder who can throw.
I've heard varying reports. Some say it's average, while others think it's good enough for RF. Baseball America rated Maybin as both the best defensive outfielder and best outfield arm in the system and supposedly they should know considering they've been watching him since high school.

About leadoff, there aren't that many good ones out there. I still think Guillen/Polanco can be at least a league average leadoff hitter for this year. Outside of them, I can only see Inge vs LHP as the only other option. Even if he has an excellent spring, I really don't want to see Granderson in there at leadoff, at least not more than once in a while. He's a talented kid, and I would like to see him have a full season low in the order and put up some good stats (kind of like what's been suggested with Inge).

And here's hoping the PECOTA projections for Granderson come true: .271-22-80-85-14. I ran across those on a blog and I think another website showed that PECOTA projects him to have a .340+ OBP on top of that. Can't put much stock in them since PECOTA also seems to like Carlos Pena a bit (as usual), but one can only hope. I can actually see him hitting 20 HR's as he showed some very nice gap power last year and Comerica isn't all that bad for left-handed power hitters and he definitely has the speed for double digit SBs. It's the BA and OBP to watch and 80 RBI's and 85 R is probably overly optimistic.
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Postby moochman » Fri Feb 10, 2006 10:53 am

Thanks mcq. Well even if Mayben has a mediocre arm it will still be better than the collection of arms we have now.
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