Detroit Offensive Production by Position

As of earlier today the Tigers sit at 3rd overall in the Major League’s in team AVG (2nd in the American League) and 6th overall in OBP (4th in the American League) and first in runs scored. This is impressive from a team dominated by pitching and finishing 24th overall in MLB in OBP last year.

That said, there is always room for improvement. I took a look at how each offensive position and DH fared around the American League in terms of OBP (on-base percentage.) The Tigers fared pretty well position by position in the AL with a few exceptions where they were in the bottom half of the league. Below is a breakout of OBP by position where it is the OBP of all who played the position though I did list the primary starter.

Primary Starter Position Standing OBP
Ivan Rodriguez Catcher 10th .286
Sean Casey 1B 12th .311
Placido Polanco 2B 4th .360
Brandon Inge 3B 11th .303
Carlos Guillen SS 3rd .381
Craig Monroe LF 11th .286
Curtis Granderson CF 6th .345
Magglio Ordonez RF 1st .432
Gary Sheffield DH 9th .351

Let’s dig a bit deeper into the area’s where the offense is lacking which is really only 4 positions, based on the table. I’ll go over the few that worry me on some level.

CatcherIvan Rodriguez

Pudge has certainly not been all that he can be so far this year, particularly in May where his BA, OBP and SLG have all dipped and his K-rate has risen. He’s shown spurts of offense and is just working his way out of a slump currently which we’ll just have to wait out. More worrysome than his recent struggles at the plate are some of the decling play behind the plate. This is the topic of a recent article over at

The caught stealing percentage isn’t the only stat that is turned upside down for Pudge this season, as he already has three passed balls – only one less than all of last season. There have been many other instances this season when balls he should have blocked or caught have lead to the runners advancing, and though these mistakes don’t show up on his stat sheet they have to be a concern.

His issues at the plate or even behind the plate aren’t of serious concern at this point though since there is nobody who could even take over if that was wanted. It isn’t wanted and he’ll likely surpass most projections that had him hitting around .288/.321/.425.

Pudge will be back next here in all likelihood but the Tigers will need to eye a longer term solution at this position. We’ve been pretty spoiled the last few years.

First BaseSean Casey

Sean Casey has been a big topic of conversation around Detroit by fans who would like to see a slugger holding down first-base. It’s true that Casey is not that but he’s he’s holding his own this May after having an April that only fueled the dissent. This May has him hitting .338/.379/.413 which is more inline with what he is capable of. He’s one of the few batters who sticks in there with long at-bats and doesn’t strikeout often.

If this play continues a large change won’t come, especially with the success of the Casey-Thames tandem at first. If change eventually is needed this year Chris Shelton is a good option now though that might not last as he’s very streaky. The Tigers have Casey through this year and I doubt we’ll see him back next year and he’ll hit the free-agent market. Last word from Dombrowski was he is the first-baseman of the future:

The Tigers insist that Shelton is in the team’s long-term plans. And while Shelton may never recreate the success he had last April, he might become a hitter similar to Casey, who doesn’t hit for power but compensates with high batting and on-base percentages.

Craig Monroe is close but in all actuality his production isn’t far from his production lifetime and last year. This is a highly powerful offense as they are proving this year with players leading in Doubles, Triples and RBI’s.

This entry was posted in Batting, Detroit Tigers. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Detroit Offensive Production by Position

  1. calvinboy says:

    I’m surprised that you don’t make more mention of Monroe and Inge. LF and 3B are traditionally two of the better hitting positions on a ballclub, and neither Monroe nor Inge is producing in terms other than home runs. Both are striking out at an alarming rate, and neither can be counted on to move a runner along. It appears to me that neither can judge whether a pitch is a ball or a strike until it’s too late, resulting in too many check swing attempted strikeouts. I don’t believe that either is hitting at an acceptable level for the position.

  2. Pingback: Bunt Singles: May 30 » Mack Avenue Tigers : A Detroit Tigers Blog

  3. Eric Jackson says:

    I agree with you fully, neither are close to acceptable right now. When the bottom of the Tiger’s lineup is up I’ve no faith anything will happen, when the top of the lineup is up it’s amazing what can happen.

    That said, Craig is batting .239 right now. He batted .255 last year, not a whole lot of difference. He’s also batting .281 so far this May. He’ll be back.

    Inge is a different story, he’s shown signs of coming back then went right back into a slump. Inge is struggling with righties as well hitting .180 vs .361 against lefties. He has a 1.005 OPS against lefties even. He’s also heating up and hitting .281 this May. His strikeout rate has dropped way down as well.

  4. Waikit says:

    Most professional hpeeskueoers know what they r doing and start cleaning from top to bottom. Just let them know u want a top to bottom cleaning once a week and then just the every day things done daily. Stay out of their way- u looking over their shoulder will only make them nervous and make them feel all weird! DEFINETELY check references closely so that u know they r trustworthy! But if it makes you more comfortable stay in the house just not in the room they r cleaning!

  5. bum says:

    Got it! Thanks a lot again for helping me out!

  6. What I find so interesting is you could never find this anywhere else.

  7. If your articles are always this helpful, “I’ll be back.”

  8. A piece of erudition unlike any other!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>