Sunday, August 05, 2012

Tigers Acquire Jeff Baker from Cubs

The Tigers have acquired utility man Jeff Baker from the Cubs in exchange for two players to be named later.  This move was announced shortly after the Tigers placed Ryan Raburn on the disabled list with a sprained right thumb. Prior to today's game, they recalled infielder Danny Worth for the fifth time this season.  Worth will likely be sent down to Toledo once again when Baker joins the team on Monday. 

The right-handed hitting Baker can play first, second third and both corner outfield spots.  So, that gives the Tigers the flexibility they lost when they designated Don Kelly for assignment on Friday.  As evidenced by his .269/.306/.448 batting line for the Cubs this year, Baker is a better hitter than Kelly. 

What makes Baker most useful to the Tigers is his right-handed bat and large lifetime platoon split: .869 OPS versus righties and .660 versus lefties.  With Quintin Berry, Brennan Boesch and Andy Dirks, they have three left-handed batting outfielders who could potentially need a platoon partner.  It seems logical that Baker and designated hitter Delmon Young who also has a large split versus lefties/righties (.822/.710) would play every day versus southpaws and seldom versus right handers. 

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