The regular lineup is here

Remember how big a deal it was in spring training to see the projected opening day lineup and how fearsome it would be? Well, that lineup is finally playing together in a regular-season game. Carlos Guillen is playing third base and batting sixth. Add in the rest of the regulars, and you have that batting order.

23 Comments

Well that’s it then. The Angels will read the lineup, pack up and immediately fly out of town, thus continuing our epic 138-game winning streak. But the big question is, how does Brandon Inge feel about this? :-)
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–Rich

I’ll second that Rich.
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Just getting ready to head out for the game.
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GO TIGERS

Speaking of Robertson’s performance yesterday (dead horse?) JL was complimenting him, so go figure. I think the people who are criticizing Nate (including me) are criticizing his year so far, and that four-run game being his crowning acheivment. I hope he does well.

I really hope Verlander can perform well today.

Verlander looked very good. 2 kills in the top of that lineup is a great start.
Great to see this Tiger lineup all together.
Good luck Tigers…..

I think Inge will be alright…He’ll still get playing time when guys need a day off and then god forbid any more injuries occur, he’ll be there to cover for that. I personally would like to see him in the line-up more often than he is expected to be, but as of the beginning of the season it was predicted he would barely be playing, and we’ve all seen how that’s gone so far…so I guess he just needs to be patient.

PS–I CANNOT BELIEVE GRANDY GOT PICKED OFF AT FIRST!

Gullien looking pretty rusty at the plate-but did look good on that hard hit grounder. Ordonez play on (what should have been) an inning ending fly ball looked like he was running in slo-mo or even ex-mo. Pretty brutal and id did cost us a run. Seems a shame the old master (Kaline is at the ball park tonight) had to watch that in person.
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Verlander is looking good let’s hope he can keep throwin BBs

I think he forgot to remember to throw BBs. 3 Straight breking balls to hunter on an 0-2??

Pudge?
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Slow the man down and give the benefit of your experience. I think Verlander call his own game more than he should.
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Ugghh!

Well the regular lineup and Guillen’s first game at 3B didn’t go all that great. Carlos needs to concentrate on watching the ball to his mitt. All his errors this year have been on not being able to catch a throw.
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Sheffield has finally figured out how to get around his ailing shoulder. Just don’t swing at the ball at all. He figured it out in his last AB.
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Fearless prediction #3:
Sheffiled goes on the DL and then quite possibly hangs ‘em up. He is not going to pass muster and the sooner they collectively admit this the better off for the team.
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Hope they play better in NY

Dan,
I agree with with you about your post, first I too hope they play better in New York.
Sheffield needs to go in the DL, he can’t swing a bat. He’s making Frank Thomas’s numbers in Toronto look great. I doubt Leyland and/or Sheffield will ever admit that’s he not effective anymore. The other teams know it if they’re intentionally walking Polanco just to face him, hmmm.
Guillen is going to be a work in progress in the field, 1st didn’t work so we’ll see about third. At least he can hit.
Jeff

The Angels are the only team I’ve seen this year, in both leagues, that play the game of baseball correctly. Hat off to them.
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Good pitching by Verlander, much better than the score would indicate. Maggs misplayed a ball and Hunter got a big hit on a ball beat into the dirt. Good pitching by Galarraga yesterday and fairly good pitching from Robertson Friday night. I hope this is a trend. Bullpen still looks good.
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Bottom line though, we lost another series. We’ve only had success against Minnesota and Texas. I’m still waiting for this group to become accustomed to each other, as we still have three new guys and one playing a position he hasn’t played in five years. I’ll just keep waiting, I’ve got all summer.
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Supposedly, Sheffield is “getting better.” This better be the case. We can always have Inge play third, since his hitting is greatly improved and his fielding seems to have improved, if that’s even possible. The DH role can be handled by committee, as it’s a good way to give a position player a semi-day off. I’ve never been a big fan of using up one roster spot on an ol’ vet who only DHs, which is what most teams do. How about we start a new trend here?
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On to New York. Dan, you need to tell us where in the Stadium you’ll be sitting and if you’re wearing any Tigers gear.
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Hey, quick rant here. I’m seeing an awful lot of spectators in Comerica who don’t seem to realize that you don’t interfere with a ball in play. They’ve nearly cost us runs on two consecutive days. Is getting a stupid ball really more important than the Tigers winning? If you think so, please stay home. My suggestion is creating a new ground rule where fans are not allowed to lean over the fence for any ball, fair or foul. Violation means instant ejection. Problem solved.
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–Rich

Rich not only did fans almost interfere with balls, something all of you did not see at home, but a couple of young girls got arrested going onto the field tonight. From my seat, they looked like they were probably in the low to mid 20’s. Not your typical jump onto the fielders.
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As you all know we were at the game tonight. Not the most exciting game to watch. Actually it was brutal. Justin again had his big blow up inning. And I think for our pitchers the four run blow up inning is the number of choice. It is interesting that you all thought Justin pitched okay. And granted it is really hard to call balls and strikes at the field, especially where I am (Along the first base line). However you can usually get a pretty good idea if it is good or bad based on what the crowd right behind the plate complains about. And I can tell you there wasn’t much complaining. But as we all know what they hit they hit pretty well.
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Now for our hitters. They pretty much made Weaver look like Cy Young. You could really tell they were having a real hard time picking anything up. Hence the 7 strikeouts from Tigers hitters. Not to mention one after the other after the other week ground ball to short.
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And with everyone losing today except for the White Soxs it was a good chance to get out of the cellar. And of course they could barely muster a run, and the starting pitcher was mediocre at best.
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Hopefully they can get something done against the Yankees, we are facing their two young guys who are having some trouble. But oh yeh we don’t hit young mediocre pitching.

It is a problem that our hitting slips into the coma so easily. It should be more cosistent.
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Sheffiled is plugging up the middle of the lineup. When JL ( I suppose after Sheffield comes to him and tells him first) comes to his senses he should reocnsider the middle of the lineup.
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I think it would be totallly in line to move Ordonez to the 3rd spot, Cab cleanup, then Guillen in the 5 hole. After that would depend on who is playing.
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Sheffield was a crucial element in the fearsome atttack that was put together and it is equally crucial to get a big, emphatic bat to the 3 hole after Granderson and Polanco. I’m not sure Guillen is the power plug we need there and he seems to hit well in the 5 hole.
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Not sure where we are sitting as we will be the guests of my old army buddy who has season tickets. I haven’t seen him since 1971 so am really looking forward to it.
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I will attempt to wear a Tigers cap and the “road colour” grey T shirt with the #6 on the back. I will try to make my wife wear my other T shirt which is Tiger Blue.
I am hoping the Yankee fans will tolerate this and my behaviour. The House That Ruth Built…!

Very good Dan. Brave of you to wear Tiger colours. I went to a fight in Buffalo one time and a football game broke out. Anyway, hope your time with you old army buddy is a really fun and nostalgic one. PS I’m beginning to agree with you on Sheffield, but I think he deserves a little more time to get his swing back. What I really hope is that he turns things around, helps the Tigers become WS champs, hits the 500 HR mark, and then retires. Don’t want much do I?

I was blacked out of the mlbtv game again last night and of course I don’t get ESPN on my cheapie cable package(my choice). Again I’ll argue that there’s something inherently unfair about this entertainment business practice.

GK, I’m still thinking about your defense of Nate. You’re right I think he has been the recipient of more than his fair share of our complaints, which could be better directed towards all 5 of the starters. I am a Nate fan and hope that he can get things going. I also agree that Vladimir Guererro can hit anything thrown at him. There is seemingly no sense in throwing him a strike, and yet why not, because he’ll hit anything anyway. Maybe the best strategy with him would be to throw him 4 pitches far enough out of the strike zone, in the hope that, if he’s frustrated enough, he’ll swing at something even he can’t hit. Personally, I’d consider walking him with 1, maybe even 2 runners on and with 1 or 2 outs.

First of all Dan, hope you have fun in the Bronx. And I hope that our Tigers give you a little something to cheer about. It has been really up and down this year.
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Regarding the starting pitching in all, I got to tell you Justin really worries me the most. We need him to do a whole lot better. He (along with everyone but Bondo really) is having these huge innings where they don’t seem to be able to get out of it with relatively unscathed. He and they continually give up 3 or more runs. Isn’t that what are hitters are supposed to be doing???
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Regarding the hitting, is it me or is it on warm days they hit on cold days they don’t really?? Which really doesn’t bode well for this week in NYC.???
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I think that weather thing is just an excuse. Our hitters pound bad pitching and are usually shut down by good pitching, just like everyone else. They’ve tried to be patient with some of these guys, but these guys just pound the strike zone and make us swing the bats. And it doesn’t help that our #3 hitter has been nearly worthless, for whatever reason. That will need to change in whatever way the change comes about.
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This puts pressure on the starters and I think they’re trying to do too much. It appeared to me that Verlander had good stuff last night, blowing away hitters with a 97 mph fastball and snapping hard curveballs in there for strikes. I’ve read that he didn’t have good stuff. I didn’t see that as being the case. As the game progressed, it was becoming apparent that he’d have to pitch a shutout, so a misplayed fly and a couple of dinks caused him to become unraveled. I think all the starters face this.
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This club has been in turmoil ever since opening day, what with all the new personnel, injuries, position shifts, some lackadaisial play, etc. At this point, the one big positive is there’s still time to turn it all around.
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–Rich

The Aybar single and the Hunter double both scored two runs. Both are plays that could have been made by Inge at third.

I’m not saying he would make the plays, but he could have made both of them.

Sheffield is 3 for his last 30. He has three hits since tax day. Guillen doesn’t have the legs to react to the ball at third base. Sheffield has three RBI all season long. He is hitting .159. Because he has been around for so long, he deserves some time to right the ship, but April 29 will be about two weeks. That is the date of the Tigers’ next game.

If his bat proves to be a liability in the Yankee series, it is time to bench him until he gets right, put him on the DL, or even release him if he won’t take option one or two.

As I said, Inge could have made those plays last night, which may have kept the Tigers in the game. He also could have gone 0 for 4 with two strikeouts, which is what Sheffield did.

As far as I can tell, the Tigers have three designated hitters in Sheffield, Guillen and Cabrera. They are trying to put two in the field so the third one can play, which he is not doing well. It’s time to put the second one at DH and put a player out in the field that can actually catch the ball. What do you do when you have too many designated hitters? You put one at first base. So Cabrera stays at first base, Guillen goes to DH and Sheffield takes a seat until he earns his way into the lineup, if you ask me.

The only downside is that if you take Guillen off the field, there’s no one to settle down pitchers when the manager has already used hit trip. Guillen will likely manage somewhere some day.

I thought Aybar’s hit was in the hole, but I have to admit I couldn’t help wondering if Inge could have made a play on the Hunter double. At least knock it down, as he’s pretty good at getting to the line. I didn’t want to mention it because a) I don’t like adding to the “Inge controversy” and b) it’s too early to judge Guillen at third. It’s something I’ve been thinking of too, Chris. Of course, we can also say that Raburn would have had the one that Maggs misplayed, so what are you gonna do?
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I don’t think we need a designated DH (a DDH?) but should rotate the position. If Sheff is healthy and hitting, he can take a turn in the outfield too. We’ve got players with enough defensive flexibility to make this work. I’d like to have some numbers on which of our pitchers induce the most chances at third, and plug Inge in there on those days.
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Sheffield has a big week coming up. I’d hate to see the guy being lustily booed in Yankee Stadium, which is guaranteed, AND be unable to shut them up. He deserves better than that. If he’s healthy enough, he can use the crowd behavior as something to get jumpstarted with. If not, it’s just going to be sad.
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–Rich

I agree with most of you on Sheff, even if this is the first month of the season. Does he deserve the chance to right the ship – yes. Does he deserve to right the ship at the expense of the team’s performance – no. This is of course a double edged sword. Needless to say, JL likes him and is going to keep him in there for at least the first 1/2 of the season and I think would re-evaluate after that.

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Do I think Guillen would do well as a DH – yes. Do I think that is his ultimate future with Detroit – yes. Do I think he will like it – maybe – as he did take the 1st base job relatively well. I will say though, that a line-up with Guillen (or others, depending on who is pitching) at DH, Inge at 3B (IF he continues to hit ok) and MCab at 1B – well, I could live with that.

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Go Tigers!

It’s a conundrum Chris. I think you are accurate in your assessment and fix. I would like to see Sheff get a little more time to get on track but how much longer, IDK? The conundrum is that nobody on this team will play third as well as Brandon, and if his production is adequate at the plate (whatever that is), we simply are not utilizing the best lineup out there day to day. Too much experimentation going on in real time. Poor Carlos getting moved all over the place. Then Maggs is another DH candidate to throw in the mix. We’ve discussed his mobility in RF many times. Miguel is too young to consider as an everyday DH. He needs to play somewhere. 1st or 3rd I guess. We do have good defense and some speed off the bench, however.

I don’t think you can afford to continue sacrificing solid defense for theoretical run production. Defensive misplays and “should’uv been catches” can hurt a pitcher’s confidence and attitude more than lack of run support. It affects everyone. Like most successful sports teams, you play off of defense, and go from there.

I’m warmin up to Inge playing 3rd and Sheffield hangin’ ‘em up. Inge is an extremely valuable entity , especially at 3rd. If it were a matter of what scenario benefits the team more now I would say Inge at 3rd and Carlos DH. If Carlos has a problem with it then tell him to get over it ………..and you know, he would.
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Sheffield is unlikely to come around and this is one of the problems I have had with management. They wait too long. Whether it’s yanking a starter (because JL wants to prove his theory of a stater going 6+), or DD realizing that you lost some dough on the deal get over it (Sheffield).
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It’s time to cut your losses and make the best of it. It would have been text book to see Sheffield do what we paid him to do but in retrospect, it was a gamble to begin with. He is not going to provide the impact we need and management has to cut it’s losses and find the next “impact” scenario.
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What we really need to be concerned about for the rest of the year is a backup catcher. Pudge is ot indestructible and the club really needs to make that an imperative for the next few years …..if not this year.
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This is a pretty big series for the Tigers. While a sweep would be exhilarating for me it would be far more inspirational for them right now. A possible “defining moment”.
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Whatever happens my buddy tells me we are going to see Jersy Boys on Friday!!
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Go Tigers and I hope all you guys and gal here enjoy the next few games.
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I’m on a laptop so please forgive the typos!

Is Vance Wilson done? I haven’t heard anything– did I miss something?

I have been wonder the same thing regarding Vance Wilson. I know that he isn’t done and is rehabing in Florida, but where he is and how long before he comes back is something I just don’t know.
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Should be some good games in NY, (at least I hope so)
Have fun.
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GO TIGERS, Go WINGS, GO Pistons.

All of those Inge-bashers out there in Tigerland (and there have been a ton of them) are now seeing how much he brought to the table defensively. Since he changed his batting stance and approach, he’s also a far cry from the clueless hitter we saw much of last year.
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I’m still not convinced that Sheffield is done, however. Maybe he is, but I’m not pulling that trigger yet. He’s a strange case since nobody has the same hitting style he does. A shoulder injury causes him to change his entire approach and he actually swings at pitches he usually takes. That’s the difference I see in the injured Sheffield and the slumping version we saw last April. It’s impossible to predict how his shoulder problems will turn out, and I think we’re all just guessing.
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It sure is difficult to obtain information on injured players. Last I heard, Wilson was nearing the point of being ready. Then two weeks go by. I’d like to save a little bit of Pudge for later in the season.
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Dan, that’s really cool that you’re seeing an army buddy for the first time since 1971. My army buddies and I made all kinds of plans for get-togethers, and not one of them ever took place. I have no idea where those dudes are. You’re going to have a good week. Don’t let this ballclub detract from it.
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–Rich

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