Saturday, April 16, 2011

Ordonez and Jackson Back in Line-up

Magglio Ordonez is back in the line-up tonight after missing four games with pain and fluid in his ankle.  He'll be batting third versus Oakland Athletics left-hander Dallas Braden.  I'n not sure whether or not Magglio's return is good news.  On one hand, they have been scuffling offensively and could use another big bat.  On the other hand, he is batting .208 with one extra base hit in 24 at bats and just hasn't looked right.  It could be just an early slump, but if his health is affecting his hitting, I'd rather they put him on the disabled list until he is totally healthy

Also returning to the line-up after a day off is center fielder Austin Jackson.  He is currently batting an anemic .184 with strikeouts in 33% of his at bats.  Most analysts projected a regression from Jackson .293 batting average last season, but nobody expected him to bat below the Mendoza Line. 

Last year, Jackson had a spectacular .396 Batting Average on Balls In Play (BABIP) thanks to a 24% line drive rate (LD%) on batted balls and 12% infield hit rate on ground balls.  Most felt he would not be able to sustain his BABIP and LD%, but now he is putting up numbers (.250 BABIP and 7%  LD% ) which are unsustainable on the low side.  The moral of the story other than "it's too early" is that he'll need to cut down is strikeouts in order to maintain a consistetly high batting average.  So far, there are no signs of that happening.

The question is what do the Tigers do if AJax his is batting .250 with no power and a ridiculous K rate in another couple of weeks?  Would they possibly send him down to the minors to work on his swing?  That seems unlikely since they need his glove.  However, I would have to think that they would move him down to the bottom of the order at some point. 

The rest of tonight's lineup looks like this:

Jackson CF
Raburn LF
Ordonez DH
Cabrera 1B
Martinez C
Peralta SS
Boesch RF
Inge 3B
Santiago 2B

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