Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Detroit Tigers left field: Lot of pieces to the puzzle, but few fit

Since adding Omar Infante in a trade late last season, signing premier free agent Torii Hunter in the off season, and with the return of Victor Martinez, the Tigers have an excellent lineup top to bottom.
The exception: Left field when a left-hander is the opposing pitcher.
AAndy Dirks is a good player. And his numbers are not bad against left-handed pitching (he is left-handed hitter). But Dirks, ideally, plays in about 130 games to get the most from him in regard to production. In a perfect world, the Tigers would have a right-handed hitting option.
Andy Dirks: Key player for Tigers in '13
They don't. Avisail Garcia is 21. It just wouldn't be right to keep him on the team as a part-time player when he needs to hit every day to develop fully as a hitter. Rule 5 pickup Jeff Koburnus is intruging because of his speed and background, but he has never played outfield in professional baseball, or above Double-A overall. There is risk there.
Quintin Berry and Don Kelly do bring a lot of good things to the table: Neither is right-handed hitter.
The Tigers could make a move toward the end of spring training as roster spots get tight and clubs look to make moves.
But ideally, Garcia does show development in Triple-A and can return to the major leagues. It's also up to Dirks. The Tigers are counting on him to reasonably repeat his performance in 2012, which was one of the most underrated factors in the Tigers squeezing out the AL Central title


Blogger Barry said...

Pat, I must be missing but why is everyone counting out K Russo. He hit 368 against lefties last year and like Kelly has a little bit of speed and plays multiple positions. I know he has no power like Kobernus. I think 24th man should be J Kobernus because of his right handed bat and base stealing ability or Russo who also is a right handed hitter. If you look up in the dictionary the 25th man on a baseball team it will state Don Kelly. A player that can play many positions and in some cases, play it better then the starter from defensive view point. He is great to have on the team just in case one of the slow guys on the team is lifted for a pinch run. He did win the Tigers a playoff game with sac fly.

3:19 PM 
Anonymous woody said...

one of the odd things about Kobernus' spring is that speed is reportedly his best tool, but he's only attempted one steal and was thrown out. as with Jackson, we know that speed does not equate with base stealing ability.

the release of Boesch gives the Tigers an opening on the 40 man. another one when the rule 5 pitcher is returned. will be interesting to see how they fill those. Kelly and Tuiasosopo are the favorites now.

7:15 PM 

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