Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Thoughts on Tigers Offense

When the season started many feared that the Tigers would not have enough offense to stay in the race.  After 14 games, they are 6th in the league with 4.5 runs scored per game.  It's easy to see how the runs are scoring from the statistics.  They are second in the league with a .275 batting average and third in base on balls percentage (11.4 % of PA have resulted in BB).  They have seven regulars with OBPs north of .370. 

On the downside, the Tigers are lacking in power hitting just 8 homers in 14 games.  Only three players have home runs so far.  They rank 10th in the league in isolated power ( slugging average - batting average) at .129.  This is certainly an area of concern.   

Much has been made of the Tigers inability to produce with runners in scoring position.  Their .216 batting average with RISP is 9th in the league.  However, this is something that tends to even out over the course of a season so I'm not going to be concerned about 153 at bats.  For those saying that they are not clutch, don't forget that they had five come from behind victories in their first eight games.

Some thought on individual players:

So far, Miguel Cabrera seems to be avoiding those games where he appears to be lost at the plate and could be primed for a monster year.  He's batting .364/.453/.618.

Magglio Ordonez has rediscovered his power which eluded him even during his second half surge last year.  He already has four homers after hitting just nine in 2009.  His Isolated Power is .246 compared to .118 last year.

It's hard to know what to make of Austin Jackson.  He has a .381 OBP but is striking out at an alarming rate.  He's on a pace to accumulate 220 hits and 230 strikeouts, which would be quite a feat.  The lack of contact is bound to catch up to him soon. I have, however, been impressed with his gap power and his defense is outstanding.

Scott Sizemore has been sloppy at times defensively but has a .372 OBP and a 6/5 BB/K ratio.  As is the case with Jackson, he has showed some potential but more time is needed before we can make any reliable conclusions.

Gerald Laird has been awful offensively (.410 OPS) but has been uncharacteristically bad defensively.  This should open the door for Alex Avila but so far he has not taken advantage.  He has a .438 OPS.

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