Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Sheffield to DL, Larish up

Gary Sheffield has been placed on the 15 day disabled list with a strained left oblique suffered in yesterday's game. Jeff Larish has been called up from Toledo to take his place. He will likely be the designated hitter against right-handed pitchers until Sheffield returns. He won't be starting tonight though as Carlos Guillen will be the designated hitter and Brandon Inge will play third. Guillen has a case of hemorrhoids which has been limiting his mobility for the last several games. Guillen will DH until he feels well enough to play in the field again.

Larish is a 25 year old left-handed hitting first baseman who is one of the best position prospects in the Tigers system. He was hitting a robust .274/.369/.589 with 16 homers for the Toledo Mud Hens this season. Last year, he batted .267/.390/.515 with a league leading 28 home runs for Erie of the Eastern League. He was selected the Tigers player minor league player of the year and was also voted the best power hitting prospect of the Eastern league by Baseball America last year. He also fields his position well but is not likely to see much action in the field for the Tigers.

One thing Larish adds to the Tigers is another left-handed bat. The Tigers are batting just .259/.336/.416 versus right-handers as opposed to .301/.354/.416 versus left-handers. As a result, they have received fewer at bats against left-handed pitchers than any team in the league. With Curtis Granderson, the switch hitting Guillen, Larish and Matt Joyce, teams might think twice about throwing all right-handed starters against them.

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