No lineup overhaul … yet

Those lineup changes Jim Leyland was going to sleep on resulted in one significant change: With Gary Sheffield off, Leyland moved Miguel Cabrera up into the third spot in the order ahead of Magglio and Carlos Guillen. That’s about it today, but other changes are coming, starting on Monday.

“I’m going to shake things up a little bit here shortly,” Leyland said. “I don’t know what I mean by that.”

It probably won’t involve different players; Leyland said there will be no personnel changes. However, the same players could be in different spots.

“I think you’ll find it pretty drastic,” Leyland predicted.

The problem right now is twofold. The Tigers aren’t hitting the humdrum pitching they were expected to punish, and because they don’t have a lot of speed, they can’t do most of the tricks a manager would normally do to spark an offense, such as hit-and-run and having runners take an extra base. That was exposed on Friday.

Here’s the lineup today:

  1. Granderson, CF
  2. Polanco, 2B
  3. Cabrera, 1B
  4. Ordonez, DH
  5. Guillen, 3B
  6. Thames, RF
  7. Renteria, SS
  8. Rodriguez, C
  9. Jones, LF

The Twins have a pretty standard lineup in place against Kenny Rogers, including Carlos Gomez back in the leadoff spot after being hit in the head Friday night. Mike Lamb gets a day off at third, with Matt Tolbert taking his place, and Nick Punto moonlights for Adam Everett at short:

  1. Carlos Gomez, CF
  2. Brendan Harris, 2B
  3. Joe Mauer, C
  4. Justin Morneau, 1B
  5. Michael Cuddyer, RF
  6. Craig Monroe, DH
  7. Delmon Young, LF
  8. Matt Tolbert, 3B
  9. Nick Punto, SS

4 Comments

I don’t care if he draws the names out of a hat. I just want to see some effort out there today.
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There have been times this weekend when I thought it was a good time to start a runner or try a hit and run. It was my opinion that the players involved in those situations could do it. I guess if we have the attitude that we can’t do it, then it won’t happen. I think you can play small ball with Grandy/Polanco, Renteria/Rodriguez. You can even start Sheffield with Maggs at the plate. Inge should be having that ability to hit behind a runner. He needs to do more than hit popups.
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But so be it. I’ll just wait for homeruns.
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–Rich

Don’t have a real problem with the lineup today except that I would like to see Raburn getting some at bats especially since Jones couldn’t hit the side of a barn with a beach ball right now. He is funny because he will seem to show a game where he might be getting out of the funk that he is in then he goes right back in for 4 or so games, then has another decent game.
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I really am just not understanding this team right now. I guess is all that you can say is incredibly inconsistent. I think they got a little too big with their win in NYC and just starting giving away at bats. Justin pitched well enough to win. But basically on nights that this team decides not to hit, our pitchers are forced into being perfect, and that is not realistic.
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Also looked to see what Grilli has done in Colorado and he had a bit of a rough first outing. Hope it goes better next time.
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GO TIGERS

There is definite truth to what Ohio tiger fan stated. What we are seeing may be what we will continue to see. So many good hitters but a station to station mentality with a lack of game changing type speed. A lack of an ability to manufacture a run when needed. It’s a one dimensional offense.

That Gomez kid on the Twins has this kind of speed. He gets on base, you know there’s a great chance he’s gonna score. Rich, you may be right, there might be a self-fulfilling prophecy going on here. If they don’t believe they can steal a base or move a runner up when they need to, then obviously they aren’t going to try. Your point(a good one)… at least try. Some speed on this team, but beyond Curtis, how much? Running Polanco, Rodriguez, Renteria, Sheffield, or Guillen scares me because of their ages and injury histories. It takes a youthful dimension to run consistantly. Santiago, Raburn, Thomas, even Inge might but they either aren’t getting much playing time or are in the minors.

Am I imagining this, or does it seem our infield is getting outplayed by other infields? Seems the Twins have made a number of quick stops and plays on hard hit ground balls that our guys aren’t making. They’re morale killers.

Watch for Gomez to be a pain in our hind parts today if he gets on. And, yes, someone mentioned pitching Mauer inside. Couldn’t agree more. He is not a pull hitter and makes a living hitting off the outer half of the plate. How many times do you get burned out there before this sinks in?

Jones is wearing out my patience. I like his hustle and defense but can’t bear to watch him hit. How about Marcus’ two nice snags out in left last night? How about seeing more of Santiago and Raburn?

This team has been too much hype and too little performance. It seems Leyland can’t motivate them, and some of the players certainly aren’t doing their part. Jacque Jones should be benched. He stinks. Let Brandon or Thames take his place; let’s see if Jones can work his way back into the lineup as a productive bench player. Sheff is killing the offense. I hope he isn’t too injured, but he needs to sit out, too. I don’t know what would improve the pitching. Maybe, make Nate a long reliver. He isn’t a reliable starter. Miner is hit or miss. It’s a real difficult circumstance for the manager. Unfortunately, our expectations have been foolishly raised, but that’s our (individual) fault. This team has below average pitching, average defense, slow speed, and inconsistent offense. I’d love to see my opinions proved to be wrong.

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