Wednesday, July 25, 2012

On Ryan Raburn, Cole Hamels contract, Quintin Berry, Detroit Tigers

- It's been made clear the Tigers will play Omar Infante only at second base (he has played 101 major league games in the outfield, including 21 as recently as 2010) and use Ryan Raburn in left field against right-handed pitching. I see the more preferable option against left-handed pitching as Infante in left, Ramon Santiago at second and Raburn out of the lineup. There seems to be this wait for Raburn to break loose this season by manager Jim Leyland, but it is unlikely. Also, it's impossible to justify a platoon spot in the lineup for somebody hitting .171 (just .163 vs. left-handers) with no virtually production otherwise, especially when he is a subpar defender. This isn't meant to pile on. I hate that aspect of it, actually, but the situation is painfully apparent. The Tigers don't see a left-handed starter until Sunday in Toronto.

- The question everybody in Detroit is asking right now: If Cole Hamels is worth $144 million for six years, then how much will Justin Verlander be worth after his contract runs out following the 2014 season. The answer: Prince Fielder money, but for a couple less years. Yeah. a cool $30 million-plus per year. But clubs are more willing to pay that kind of money these days because of the increase in local television revenue. Baseball is not programming that is DVR'd and commercials rolled through. It has made it advertising gold.

- Quintin Berry's overall production has begun to wane, but his contribution to the Tigers has been more significant recently because of timing. The timing of the ninth-inning catch vs. the White Sox on Friday, a very good overall game vs. the Angels last week, the two clutch hits that should have won a game in Baltimore, the two-run home run Sunday in a 6-4 win over the White Sox, an important walk last night after he fell behind 0-2 in the count and Miguel Cabrera followed up with a home run. And 15-of-15 stealing bases is very impressive. Before this, I thought Berry's production was a bit hollow for all the raves people were giving him. Lately, there hasn't been as much production, but it's carried more bearing on whether the Tigers actually win.


Blogger Lynn Benoit said...

Yes indeed. Rayburn has been subpar. This isn't new. This business of waiting till he "heats up" later in the season never has proved all that beneficial, has it? There are even some statistics to back that up!

As for Berry, let's at least give him more than a couple of months to determine how good he really is. After all, we cut Rayburn slack for YEARS. Didn't we, Pat?

3:58 PM 
Blogger Barry said...

Omar such a good 2B that I would not move him to the OF. QBerry is your fourth OF so that spells platoon. Berry has value on the team because of his quickness. I think Raburn is safe even if Dirks comes back because of his right handed bat. Raburn should get hitting ASAP or he going to get replace by Getz or Nick in September. Sad thing is Kelly provides just as much value as Boesch in RF even if Kelly is hitting below his body weight. Boesch is allowing too many bloopers for singles and double on catchable fly balls. His monster HRs look cool but his overall ability hurt the team. Tigers have a very good team now. Their next trade moves should be upgrade the team from very good to great.

4:16 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, Hamels, Lee and Halliday make a combined salary of over $65 Million a year...6 MLB teams have a smaller payroll for the WHOLE team. Half the MLB teams have less than a $85 M total payroll.

And Hamels has never won more than 15 games a year and only one time had less than a 3.00 ERA.

The Washington Nationals have a total payroll of $81.3 M, median salary of $800,000, and is leading the Phils by 14.5 games. The Phils have a median salary of $ 1.9 M.

Actually, the Tigers are right behind the Phillies ($175M) with a $132M total payroll. And, Pat, you are right, wait until JV comes up.

5:17 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Berry's value is in the energy he brings. The Tigers got better when he joined the team. He is a "4A" player as Pat likes to say but his energy has been contagious.
I think Raburn is just a favorite of Leyland's, for whatever reason Leyland likes these types of players, that is why he keeps Kelly and kept finding positions for Inge to play.
As far as JV's salary, I could care less, it is not my money. I hate the part of sports where so much time is spent talking about salaries.


10:51 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alan, I agree that money is a one-off distraction from sports performance. But it is pretty important. Revenue-sharing requirements and salary caps cause all kinds of personnel decisions.

9:15 AM 
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