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How would your opening day line-up look?

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Postby mcqfesijiba » Mon Feb 27, 2006 12:59 pm

Here are some comparisons to think about with this year's team. I think they compare very well to both of the Tiger teams in the past 10 years that reached 79 wins. And I don't just mean that Todd Jones was our closer on those teams as well, haha.

1997 - Our offense is very comparable. In 2006, we have less speed, but are stronger from top to bottom. Our pitching is better considering that was basically a team with only 4 worthwhile pitchers and the rest were generally roughed up pretty bad. Defense was close, but I give the 97 team an edge. That team didn't get hit by injuries too badly. Justin Thompson really broke out that year, but declined each of the next 2 years as the health of his arm failed him and the league caught up to him and Brian Hunter completely turned into a bust after that year.

2000 - The offense on that team looks very similar to what we have this year. I feel a lot better about Ordonez than I did Gonzalez, but I'm not sure if we'll have a threesome as good as Higginson/Gonzalez/Palmer were that year. It was also a good lineup from top to bottom. They also had some inuries affect them with Gonzalez and Clark. That team clearly had the better plate discipline and thus the overall edge in offense. I even see a very similar defense when I look at that team. That team also had a lack of speed from the leadoff position, but put rotated in high OBP guys throughout the year often times using pretty much a new guy every game. Our current pitching staff is at least as good, if not better. Bobby Higginson was never the same and Dean Palmer basically fell off due to serious injury both after that year and Gonzalez left and never looked back.

Just thought I'd throw that out there. Instead of predicting what this team would do, I've been thinking about comparable teams from the recent past and I can definitely say that a run at .500 is more than possible.
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Postby Dannomyte » Sun Mar 19, 2006 9:26 am

Sounds like Leyland may be rethinking hitting Polanco 2nd. Took this from Danny Knobler's ST blog at mlive.com

Leyland still isn't sure about an opening day batting order, and in fact he said today he's not even sure anymore that Polanco will hit second. He said he wants Magglio in top RBI spot, but he's not sure if that's 3rd, 4th or 5th.


I'd personally prefer to see Polanco leading off. Sure he doesn't have the speed of a traditional lead off hitter but the guy always seems to be on base which sets up the heart of the line-up nicely.
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Postby moochman » Sun Mar 19, 2006 11:47 am

I would think Polanco, Guillen, Shelton, Ordonez would be the best way to start the season. Hopefully Granderson would show enough consistancy to end up leading off, but for now we need good ABs at the top of the line up.

Real curious to see where Leyland will hit Pudge. We know he doesn't deserve to hit any higher than 6th in this line up, but will probably be pissed if he doesn't hit 3-5th.
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Postby mcqfesijiba » Sun Mar 19, 2006 1:18 pm

moochman wrote:I would think Polanco, Guillen, Shelton, Ordonez would be the best way to start the season. Hopefully Granderson would show enough consistancy to end up leading off, but for now we need good ABs at the top of the line up.
Honestly I think this should be obvious, but I guess we don't know Leyland's thinking. Maybe swap Guillen and Polanco, but either way, those two should probably be the top two in the order if you want to go by players with a proven track record versus Granderson's potential.

I remember that in the year the Marlins won the world series under Leyland, he was stubborn for a while and let a still very young Luis Castillo lead off for quite a while to start the season. Long story short, it didn't go too well, and he ended up rotating guys in that spot. I know Devon White was one of them, but I can't recall any others, not that it even matters...

My point is that even though it wouldn't be my choice, I can actually see him putting Granderson at lead off. He did it with Castillo, so what reason is there to believe he won't do it with Granderson. Hopefully he'll go the safer route and go with the proven guys.
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Postby mcqfesijiba » Sat Mar 25, 2006 8:14 pm

Here it is. This is supposedly the "probable" opening day lineup for the Detroit Tigers based on today's game where the opening day lineup was supposedly being played:

1. Curtis Granderson, CF
2. Placido Polanco, 2B
3. Ivan Rodriguez, C
4. Magglio Ordonez, RF
5. Dmitri Young, DH
6. Craig Monroe, LF
7. Carlos Guillen, SS
8. Chris Shelton, 1B
9. Brandon Inge, 3B

All I can say if this is true is wow. Shelton and Guillen being so low are the big shockers. Suffice to say that some juggling is likely to happen throughout the season.
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Postby Dannomyte » Sun Mar 26, 2006 2:15 am

Man, I just look at that line-up and think to myself WTF!!!. Not sure how a guy like Shelton with .300 AVG 30 HR potential hits in the 8 hole in front of one of the streakiest hitters on the team. Why would anyone pitch to Shelton now when he is hitting in front of 2 guys that are going to combine for 250-300K's?? Guillen hitting in the 7 hole is almost as bad but atleast he has protection in Shelton. This line-up just doesn't make much sense to me.
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Postby Dan Lambskin » Sun Mar 26, 2006 10:34 am

i agree, but what else do you do? no matter what your gonna have someone batting in a place that doesnt make sense.

i dont have any problems with Granderson at 1, Polanco at 2, Maggs at 3 or Inge at 9. after that it get's trickey. i'd like to see Shelton/Guillen at 3, but then where do you put the other guy?

personally, i'd like to see
Granderson
Polanco
Guillen
Maggs
Shelton
Monroe
Pudge
Young
Inge
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Postby mcqfesijiba » Sun Mar 26, 2006 11:16 am

Dannomyte wrote:More from Leyland on the line-up.

Leyland continues to work on possible lineups, and he spent time filling out more of them after Thursday night's team barbecue. Other than batting Polanco second and his center fielder first, he doesn't have anyone set in one particular spot.

"One thing about our lineup, it's got a chance to be pretty balanced," Leyland said. "I don't know that our 3-4-5 [hitters are] going to sound as impressive as somebody else's 3-4-5, but I think 1 through 9 we're going to be pretty good, and I kind of like that. We might not have the big boppers right in the middle, but ... I think you can get a lot out of whoever's going to hit 7-8-9."

One tendency he might use is to put a power hitter in the bottom third of the order. If everyone is healthy, he has enough from which to choose.

"I do like a three-run homer late in the lineup," he said. "Somebody that's not a real good runner, but I think that he's got power, I like the three-run homer down late in the lineup. I guess in the National League it would be a little bit more important with the eighth hitter and then the pitcher."
Hmm, I just remembered this and then went back a few posts to bring this up. Leyland wasn't kidding.
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Postby Dannomyte » Sun Mar 26, 2006 11:46 am

mcqfesijiba wrote:
Dannomyte wrote:More from Leyland on the line-up.

Leyland continues to work on possible lineups, and he spent time filling out more of them after Thursday night's team barbecue. Other than batting Polanco second and his center fielder first, he doesn't have anyone set in one particular spot.

"One thing about our lineup, it's got a chance to be pretty balanced," Leyland said. "I don't know that our 3-4-5 [hitters are] going to sound as impressive as somebody else's 3-4-5, but I think 1 through 9 we're going to be pretty good, and I kind of like that. We might not have the big boppers right in the middle, but ... I think you can get a lot out of whoever's going to hit 7-8-9."

One tendency he might use is to put a power hitter in the bottom third of the order. If everyone is healthy, he has enough from which to choose.

"I do like a three-run homer late in the lineup," he said. "Somebody that's not a real good runner, but I think that he's got power, I like the three-run homer down late in the lineup. I guess in the National League it would be a little bit more important with the eighth hitter and then the pitcher."
Hmm, I just remembered this and then went back a few posts to bring this up. Leyland wasn't kidding.


I remember that too but I was thinking more along the lines of Craig Monroe or possibly Da Meathook.
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Postby moochman » Sun Mar 26, 2006 12:09 pm

My thoughts and grades:

1. Curtis Granderson, CF-Having a good Spring and lack of a true lead off hitter makes for this risky move. A lot of pressure to put on a guy who should just have to worry about having good ABs. C

2. Placido Polanco, 2B-No-brainer. If he had speed he'd be one of the top 2B in the league. Perfect #2 hitter. A

3. Ivan Rodriguez, C-Total ass-kiss here. No way has he done anything to deserve to hit this high in any line-up. No power, no plate discipline. Troubling pick as this and others indicate that manager is trying to win over trouble makers instead of laying down the law. He can still hit some ropes, so..C-

4. Magglio Ordonez, RF-Probably should be #3. Contact hitter who has knack for driving in runs. Needs to rediscover power. B+

5. Dmitri Young, DH-Another ass-kiss. Stroking a player who has been a disappointment and done absolutely nothing to prove he is worthy of anyone's favor. Streaky, undisciplined hitter with mediocre power at best. Should be at the bottom of the order until he proves he can rake enough to be here. D

6. Craig Monroe, LF-Leads the team in RBIs should be here or 5th. Best power stroke on the team if he improves at all. B

7. Carlos Guillen, SS-Hard to slot this guy. Good enough at all aspects of hitting that he can go anywhere in the line-up, sans 4-5th. Flip-flop with Pudge cannot be argue against. B

8. Chris Shelton, 1B-Number 3,4,5 or even 6th in a loaded line-up. No way does he deserve to be here. Another sign of the dangerous ass-kissing going on. C

9. Brandon Inge, 3B-Should be the Tigers lead-off guy, at least for the first half of the season, against all but the nastier righties. Move Guillen there for those. Hopes should have been that after the break Granderson would have enough time to be comfortable hitting and if he is doing well, then move Inge down here. C

When I heard that V & Z were going to make the team I thought that Leyland was telling everyone that talent will to the talking. Should this be the line-up, I can't help but feel that he has two seperate philosophies regarding pitchers and position players. I can see kissing Pudge's but, but I see no need at all to stroke Young.

I am probably just over-reacting and Leyland will run the clubhouse, but this looks like playing trouble over talent to me. Maybe he is just giving them enough rope.
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