Thoughts about the Detroit Tigers lineup for tonight's game against the Kansas City Royals
Ryan Raburn is at second base, which is sure to infuriate many Tigers fans, who have just had enough of his lack of production offensively, which is understandable. It's not only the batting average, but Raburn has just 10 RBI in 168 at bats mostly in spots in the order where he should be driving in more runs. Also, while he hit well immediately after returning from Triple-A Toledo, he is again marred in an extended slump.
But he has had success against Jonathan Sanchez, the lefty starting for the Royals today. He is 1-3 with a home run and two walks in five plate appearances against him. Conversely, switch-hitting Ramon Santiago, is hitting .118 against a left-handers this season. He is at third base tonight, and Delmon Young in left field. Miguel Cabrera is at DH. The Tigers have struggled defensively, but this is even more of a recipe for disaster than usual in the field. Santiago has only played 37 innings covering 14 appearances at third base in his major league career. Last season, he didn't make an error in 12 innings there. He played just five games at third base as minor leaguer.
Sanchez will provide a good test for Quintin Berry, a left-handed hitter, in the second spot today. Although, he has struggled mightily overall, Sanchez has still done well against left-handed hitters this season (.229 batting average against). Brennan Boesch, the odd man out of the lineup tonight, is 0-for-5 with two strikeouts against Sanchez. Even though Boesch's career numbers have been better against left-handers as a left-handed hitter overall than vs. right-handers, that has not been the case this season. The left-handed hitting Berry is hitting .219 with a .242 on base percentage against left-handed pitching in 33 plate appearances.