The Tigers moved to 4-0 with a 5-2 win over the Rangers tonight and Chris Shelton again led the way offensively. In my season preview, I projected Shelton for .305/.372/.500 with 25 home runs. After going 2 for 3 with a homer and an HBP tonight, he is now batting .688/.765/1.765 with 5 home runs after 4 games. Perhaps, I underestimated him.
I know it's only April 7 but I have a good feeling about Shelton. Obviously, he won't keep up this pace but I'm already erasing the 25 homer prediction and forecasting 32 homers. It also would not surprise me to see him finish in the top 10 in batting average and slugging. And no I won't change back if he goes 0 for 4 tomorrow!
Another hot hitter is Marcus Thames who got 3 singles and now has 5 hits including 2 home runs in his first 9 at bats. It would be great to see Thames get a good number of at bats this year. He has earned an opportunity after tearing up AAA the last two years. He hit pretty well for the Tigers in 2004 as well (.255/.326/.509 with 10 home runs in 165 AB). Right now, I'd rather see him get at bats than Dmitri Young.
Minor League Notes
Mark Woodyard struck out the side around one hit in the ninth to get the save in a 3-1 Toledo victory over Charlotte
Tony Giarratano went 3-5 with two doubles as Erie lost to Harrisburg 11-7. Humberto Sanchez struck out 8, walked 1 and gave up 4 hits in 5 scoreless innings
Jeff Larish hit a home run and Kevin Whelan struck out the side in the ninth as Lakeland edged Tampa 2-1