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Is it too early to vent a little?

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Postby moochman » Wed May 10, 2006 2:36 pm

Last night's game was alarming. Not so much because of the game itself, but because of the trend we could be seeing: Poor fielding, situational hitting and another blown late game lead.

I don't quite understand why Leyland brought Rodney out for the 8th inning since he showed he didn't have his killer change up and was hanging fastballs. Guillen seems to be making easy errors, the kind that make you wonder how much his head is in the game. I fully expect at sometime that he will get past whatever crap is bugging him and start making routine plays again.

Should be telling tonight to see if V can shut down a very good fastball hitting team. Expecially since we really need to stop the bleeding.
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Postby mcqfesijiba » Thu May 11, 2006 11:01 am

Not a bad game last night. Solid pitching. Maggs and Guillen are locked in offensively right now. Another poor game for DY and apparently is having problems with his quad still. With Thames posting an OPS over 1.000 along with better than expected plate discipline and Josh Phelps finally coming around lately down in Toledo, I wonder what it will take for Leyland to give someone else a shot. Shelton needs to figure things out too. He wasn't all that good in the second half of April and he's been even worse so far in May. Strangely enough, Leyland had no problem dropping Shelton to 7th in the lineup in favor of DY during this slump as compared to absolutely refusing to move up Shelton during his hot streak earlier on this year. Go figure.
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Postby moochman » Thu May 11, 2006 3:20 pm

Problem is that DY is a highly paid vet who is being pampered. I wondered how long he would be in Erie, now I wonder who's decision it was to have him come back to Detroit. I have a feeling he said "I'm ready, I won't spend another day in the minors. The food sucks down here". And forced the Tigers to put him on the roster.

I do trust that if he doesn't get his bat working Leyland will have him be a spot starter/pinch hitter. That will be fun to see how much pouting and whining DY will do, especially if Maggs, Pudge and the Tigers are still doing well. DY won't have anyone else to commiserate with.

Didn't get to watch the game, but I am pleased that V did what Bonderman has such a hard time doing: win a game to stop a losing skid. ;-D

Shelton needs to be sit for a week.
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Postby mcqfesijiba » Sat May 13, 2006 1:54 pm

What's Thames gotta do to get a little more time at DH? I'm still not a huge Thames fan in the long run, but as long as the guy is streaking along with an OPS over 1.000 and homering more than once every 10 AB's, I say ride him. Put DY on the DL where he belongs.
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Postby moochman » Sun May 14, 2006 11:50 am

We may have posted a little too soon.

Shelton: 2 for 4 with a double and a homer
Thames: 0 for 3 with three Ks.

Huge game by Bonderman, BTW. At least 2 of 3 from the Tribe ;-D

If the Tigers play .500 ball from here on out the win 86 games ;-D
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Postby mcqfesijiba » Mon May 15, 2006 12:02 pm

Sounds like DY will try to play again soon. I'm not counting on it, but it would be nice to see DY produce even a little bit like he used to. Something close to his 2004 numbers would be nice, but that's probably only a dream at this point. He'll probably reaggravate his quad or pull a hammy within 3 or 4 games of his return, assuming that will be this week.

I'm still worried about Polanco. His OPS is down all the way to .591 with an OBP of .295 and he's still batting 2nd. I wonder what it will take for Leyland to move him down with Polanco's empty batting average in such a crucial spot. I'm still assuming that his back has affected his power.

It's interesting that this team has relied on it's 6-9 hitters throughout the year for so much offense. Inge and Monroe don't have the most spectacular of numbers if you look at AVG and OBP, but they sure are productive.
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Postby Dannomyte » Mon May 15, 2006 5:41 pm

I'm still worried about Polanco. His OPS is down all the way to .591 with an OBP of .295 and he's still batting 2nd. I wonder what it will take for Leyland to move him down with Polanco's empty batting average in such a crucial spot. I'm still assuming that his back has affected his power.


I'm a little worried about Polanco too. I seriously hope that the only reason he has struggled lately is because of his back. Regardless, the guy seems to add so much to the team on and off the field that he could hit .280 for the season and I couldn't hate on him! But damn would another .300 + average season from him look really nice at the top of the Tigers line-up!

As far as moving Polanco down in the order goes I seriously doubt Leyland does it any time soon unless Polanco goes in to a monumental slump. Placido is one of the only players on the team who doesn't strike out a ton and consistently makes contact with the ball. Exactly what you want out of your #2 hitter. Hell, Leyland has stuck with Pudge at #3 in the order and he only has 3 RBI more than Polanco. Sure Pudge is hitting over .300 but who would you rather have at the plate with guys on?? I know for me I'd rather see Guillen or Polanco any day of the week over Pudge. The only other reason I could see Leyland changing around the line-up is if the Tigers stop winning/playing like they have been so far this season. Hopefully that doesn't happen!!
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Postby moochman » Tue May 16, 2006 1:33 am

I wonder how much trouble Fatty Young is going to be if he re-aggravates his quad (though I like to think Leyland has a weight limit on him and until he is under x-amount he sits) and they want to put him on DL or re-assignment. I would love it if somehow he could man up and go to Toledo for a month and get his Spring Training in. Watching him flail around like a windmill is making me wonder if he can get it together in the show.

I'd give Polanco a couple weeks, healthy weeks, before panicing. It's a luxury that we have, given our fast start. But if he doesn't start to get on base more he should be moved to 8th. Put Guillen at second and move Shelton and Monroe up a notch.
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Postby mcqfesijiba » Tue May 16, 2006 11:43 am

I think its probably no secret that Polanco's back has to be contributing to his struggles. He's making contact well like he always has, but most of his contact just looks weak. Lots of popouts to the infield or shallow outfield or groundouts. And maybe it's making him press a little causing him to draw fewer walks than usual, not that he was ever a walk machine, but he was better than what he is now. I want to see what Pudge and Ordonez can do with 2 good on base threats hitting in front of them, thus contributing to early leads. Although strangely enough, early leads have not yet been a huge problem. Let's face it, between only one walk and 2 extra base hits and back problems (which you figure are hurting him offensively), he just isn't quite playing like the 2 hitter we were expecting at the moment. Obviously, the team has for the most part been getting the job done, so this is again nitpicking and as long as the team keeps doing what they are doing, so will I, but looking ahead...

In the end of May and through about half of June, the schedule picks up and this team will be tested. We will see Cleveland, the Yankees, Toronto, Red Sox, and the White Sox (not necessarily in that order) during that stretch. Now those are the games I've been looking forward to. One strong offensive team after another.
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Postby mcqfesijiba » Tue May 16, 2006 11:54 am

Dannomyte wrote:Hell, Leyland has stuck with Pudge at #3 in the order and he only has 3 RBI more than Polanco. Sure Pudge is hitting over .300 but who would you rather have at the plate with guys on??
Maybe that's because the guy in front of him RARELY gets on base and makes weak contact that often results in either a double play or a fielder's choice? Pudge is hitting .323 with a .382 OBP with runners on and a 5/7 BB/K ratio in 62 ABs. That is DAMN good. Most of his ABs in that situation (about 2/3) are with the runner on first. Remember don't compare Polanco's RBI's to Pudge's. RBI's are influenced by those hitting in front of you. Pudge has to drive somebody in, so if a certain #2 hitter was getting on base more than 30% of the time, maybe Pudge would have more RBIs? Polanco's line with runners on? .244 AVG and a .273 OBP with no walks and 2 K's in 41 ABs :-P
So the answer is I would without question rather have Pudge batting with runners on.

I like Polanco a lot, but I think he has some issues to work on right now and perhaps being in such a critical spot in the order isn't in his best interests right now.
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