Monday, June 18, 2012

The "Q" Train: Why if the Detroit Tigers were to ride Quintin Berry every day, it would lead them nowhere

Quintin Berry went 5-for-5 in the Tigers' victory over Colorado Sunday, and he is suddenly being hailed as a savior for the club.
But in truth, Berry has played a minimum role in the Tigers' recent 10-game flurry, which has seen them win seven times to move within three games of the lead in the decidedly mediocre American League Central (only in this division, it seems, can a club make up make three games so quickly with such a modest "surge." Actually, the Tigers let the three losses get away late in those games; they should have a 10-game winning streak going and be tied for the division lead).
In the seven victories, Berry hasn't exactly been a run producer. He has one RBI and three runs scored. Even in the Tigers' victory Sunday, he scored one run, and didn't knock in any. He had been hitting .182 in the two weeks leading up to Sunday.
In truth, the biggest reason is the Tigers have been able to turn it around is the return of Austin Jackson, who replaced Berry in the Tigers' starting lineup.
The idea Berry is "fresh and new, a youthful infusion of energy into the Tigers lineup" is laughable. He is older than both Delmon Young and Brennan Boesch.
When Boesch had a 4-for-5 night, hitting a home run, driving in two runs and scoring two at Wrigley Field recently, there wasn't the start of "Boeschemania." Young isn't having a very good season offensively based on his career numbers, but he was 10th in AL MVP voting as recently as 2010 and did hit three home runs and have an OPS of 1.170 in a tight, five-game ALDS victory over the Yankees last fall. There is a track record there.
The criticism of manager Jim Leyland not playing Berry more is foolish. He is picking his spots where Berry can have an impact. Leyland rode Berry while he was hot, sat him when he cooled down and put him out there on Sunday against a right-hander with an ERA pushing seven and a WHIP over 1.8, Jeremy Gutherie.
All that is not meant as a knock on Berry. He was a great minor league free agent signing for the Tigers, and did a terrific job bridging the time Jackson was out. He is a tremendous story. Fans are rooting like crazy for him in this town, and they should. He certainly earned his spot on the club.
But Quintin Berry is, at best, a role player, and a relatively small piece of a much bigger puzzle.If the Tigers are forced to ride him - if Young, Boesch, Dirks, Ryan Raburn don't come through - they will be on the train to nowhere.


Anonymous Rollie said...

I can't even...just. wow. I don't know why you write things anymore.

12:32 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent analysis on Berry.

Now we have fans rapping Leyland for not playing him more.

Very mature take on the situation.

12:43 PM 
Blogger Fred Brill said...

Same conversation - different year - with whatever the new 4A arrival is. I would say Q-Berry is the 2012 4A addition - like both Boesch and Raburn were in years before - as well as Brnt Cleveland and [name some others I can't think of off the tiop of my head]- regardless of his age. It took a couple seasons for Raburn to stay up all year.

The Tiger's do this more than other teams I have followed. You know that - Toledo dipping.

Like I have said here before - just like a goalie - you ride him while he's hot - but I don't think asnybody thinks he's the second coming of Roberto Clemente.

1:13 PM 
Blogger Larry Baker said...

The Book he doth protest too much, methinks. While Berry is not the second coming of Ty Cobb as some finds currently perceive, you have settled to comfortably into your Earl Weaver role of sitting and waiting for the 3 run homer. Having Jackson and Berry on base in front of Cabrera and Fielder is CERTAINLY a recipe for mored runs. (Your complaint that he did not score more runs ins a 5 hit game is disingenuous-- You basically blame him for not stealing his way around the bases). Fans are overreacting to something very real. His is fast and can field his position. Many of the starters lack both talents. He brings balance to a lineup of DH's.

1:19 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let him hit himself out of the majors like chris shelton. Dirks, Jackson, and Boesch is the optimal outfield.

1:37 PM 
Blogger Barry said...

Pat, the big bang theory that Tigers like does not work. DY and BB have no value as outfielders but do provide value at DH. QBerry
has always provided value in every league he has played. Should QBerry be ahead of AJackson or Dirks absolutely not. Should Berry play against tough lefties absolutely not. Having two speedsters in the field, then it allow a real slowpoke in the other field position that can bang 25 homers. For BB and DY to have any value they have to hit 12 to 13 points above their career average, good luck with that. I would keep playing DY and BB to get their trade value up and trade them to a small ballpark team. Gutherie can pitch on my team anytime but not at $8 million a season. Someone is going to get a deal when they pick him up this off season. Too bad he is 33 already.

3:46 PM 

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