Monday, March 30, 2009

Tigers Acquire Josh Anderson from Braves

The Tigers have received speedy center fielder Josh Anderson from the Atlanter Braves for side arming right-handed reliever Rudy Darrow. Anderson will make the Tigers as a back-up out fielder and pinch runner.

The move almost certainly means that Ryan Raburn, Brent Clevlen and Clete Thomas will not be on the team when it heads north. Clevlen is out of options and will be placed on waivers. There is a chance he might be claimed but I suspect he won't. Raburn and Thomas will probably start the season at Toledo. Unless they trade Marcus Thames this week, it also now looks as if Jeff Larish will not make the club either despite a strong spring.

The Braves regarded the 26-year-old Anderson highly enough that he was being considered as their starting center fielder. However, they decided upon Jordan Schafer instead. Anderson is a strong defender who can play all three positions and has blazing speed. In the past two years in the majors and minors he has stolen 93 bases in 110 attempts for an amazing 84.5 stolen base percentage. Thus, he gives the rather slow footed Tigers a dimension which they lack.

He has no power and gets on base at only a moderate clip so he's not likely ever going to be a regular. In 203 at bats with the Astros and Braves the last two years, he has batted .315/.364/.419. During his six year minor league career, he has hit .294/.344/.378. He hits RHP better than LHP so he does have possibilities as a pinch hitter or limited platoon player. His career minor league OBP is .351 versus RHP and .314 versus LHP. In his limited MLB at bats, he is batting .392 versus RHP and .299 versus LHP.

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