Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What to do about Victor Martinez injury

Honestly, I didn't think the Tigers would benefit much from signing Yoenis Cespedes. I didn't see the need to replace Delmon Young in left field, despite a groundswell of cries from some media and fans about his low on-base percentage.
But Young would fit in better at DH than left field where he struggles with the glove. Cespedes has the tools to be an above-average defender, regardless of the concerns about his ability to hit major league pitching. He is a superior athlete.
The problem is Victor Martinez. who will miss this season with a knee injury, was the perfect 5th-hole to bat behind Miguel Cabrera. Doesn't matter what the free agent list says - he's irreplaceable in that sense. Does Jim Leyland move Young to third in the order and Young to fifth? How about moving Jhonny Peralta to third?
Vladimir Guerrero sounds good in theory, but he and Young in the middle or the order surrounding Cabrera is a recipe for disaster. Cespedes reputedly is the same type of free swinger.
The goal here should be a hitter that compliments the Cabrera/Young combination better, not a free swinger with power, but rather just a good, all-around hitter with a decent on-base percentage. You know, kind of a poor man's Victor Martinez.
Carlos Lee of the Astros is the best veteran player who might be available in trade that would fit the Tigers' needs. He's in his mid-30s - the Astros are looking to unload him. But at what cost? Certainly the Martinez injury puts the Tigers in a bind, but it's not cause for panic. I've maintained from the beginning the wise course of action by the Tigers is a patient one. They don't have to do anything. They can see what happens on the field before reacting and dealing a top prospect. They still have the best team in the American League Central.


Blogger Fred Brill said...

So, Book, just like most other Tiger news, I learn about V-Mart from your blog.

This changes the off season to-do list significantly. I know your standing by your standing Pat stance Pat - but the needs I was hoping might get addressed - either immediatly or eventually just got re-prioritized to the bottom of the pile.

To me though, a poor man's V-Mart don't cut it. Martinez is like Polanco - a spark plug the makes the engine run at optimum performance. He got the whole 2011 second half rolling with his timely hitting. And his leadership.

A poor man's V-mart just rents a locker.

This really sucks.

8:44 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dont see the choke hold on the AL Central that you do. The Tigers greatness is/was fragile. A number of players had career years last year now your 3rd best player is gone. Martinez was the rock, the stabilizer. The Tigers will pay a price for being so non-chalant this off-season. Those holes at 2nd and 3rd are glaring holes now. Illitch is 85, he cant afford to be patient. The Tigers need bats. Signing G. Laird is not the answer. We are back to 2009-10 levels.


9:12 PM 
Blogger Barry said...

Pat I like idea of J.P. batting third with Young batting fifth or sixth. One bright side is their D will improve with Young no longer in LF. The best thing to do I think is make a trade for left hand hitting 2B with some pop. Move Raburn to LF and platoon with Dirks.

11:30 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pat, Brennen Boesch did a great job hitting behind Cabrera in 2010, until he slumped in the second half of the year. Just maybe, he can come into his own, this year, and fill that role. He does hit lefties pretty well. Delmon is the logical DH because he is a liability on defense, especially at Comerica Park. To make up for the loss of V-Mart's production, they will have to bring in another bat who can play LF. Dave

12:11 AM 
Anonymous woody said...

only remaining FA who could replace Martinez's production is Fielder...but that's not going to happen.

they might recoup some of that lost offense with other guys like Jackson, Boesch, and Raburn bumping up their production.

instead of a middle order hitter, could look to acquire a 1 or 2 hitter to take Martinez' ABs. Of the remaining FAs excluding Fielder, Casey Kotchman had the best OBP last season...contact hitter but not much power. could fit as a #2 hitter. To my surprise, Kotchman actually had a higher OPS than Guerrero.

12:31 AM 

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