Sheff hits 7th, Guillen stays in 3rd slot

I’m assuming you’re aware by now about Gary Sheffield being activated. He’s batting 7th today and will probably remain there for the time being. Jim Leyland said he likes the idea of putting him in a lower-profile role for now.

Here’s the rest of the lineups:

TIGERS (36-39)

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

CARDINALS (44-33)

  1. Brian Barton, LF
  2. Aaron Miles, 2B
  3. Ryan Ludwick, RF
  4. Troy Glaus, 3B
  5. Rick Ankiel, CF
  6. Yadier Molina, C
  7. Nick Stavinoha, DH
  8. Adam Kennedy, 1B
  9. Brendan Ryan, SS

57 Comments

And so the second round of the 2008 Gary Sheffield saga begins. Personally, I don’t think it was a coincidence that the Tigers started winning once Sheff went on the DL. Hopefully the losses don’t start to outnumber the wins again. If so, how long until JL realizes the cause?

SHeff was little help, but he wasn’t the main cause. Just look at the Tigers’ ERA for say May and June and compare. It’s the pitching that’s made the difference.
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HAving said that, no one wants SHeffield in there if he’s the same Sheffield as earlier this year!

MArch and April 4.92 ERA
May 4.73
June 4.53
Last seven days 2.25

sorry don’t have the stats for two or three weeks, but saw somewhere it was about 3.something.

I think this is worth a shot. Sheff batting down there just might work out. We were wasting Larish’s youth and glove and Sheffield has a lot of useful experieince. The keys are for him to be actually well enough to hit and for JL to recognize if he isn’t and respond appropriately.
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You can’t have your DH being a threat in name only and hitting below .200. He has to produce.
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Did you all notice the new MLB trade BLOG? Jason has a post in it.
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http://trades.mlblogs.com/

I think the winning coincides with a dramatic turn around in pitching and weak schedule with 9 of the last 7 wins coming against poor teams…
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the offense is only averaging 5.47 runs per game in their 12 of 15 stretch so it’s not like it’s been a huge offensive outburst.
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San Diego – 13 games below .500
San Fran – 12 games below .500
Dodgers – 5 games below .500
Cleveland – 6 games below .500
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Sheff will help this lineup, and if he doesn’t then I hope the proper moves will be made. We have to see what we’ve got.. it’s not like he doesn’t have a track record. If he’s close to as good as he can be, it will be a big step up over Larish.. even if he’s bad it will be an improvement over Larish.

Well I’m going to go against the general belief here. I think Sheff can still help the team. He potentially adds at least a fear factor for opposing pitchers and having him hit in in the 7th hole is a very good idea. I think JL is listening………rrrright. Anyway, his insertion in the 7th spot is not changing the dynamic of the lineup that much, as most of the game to game lineup changes already occur in the 7th-9th slots. And having him hit behind Thames will make it very interesting imo. Good move on JL’s part in batting him there.
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As far as whether he is ready or not, I think most of the thoughts here are merely speculation, unless someone’s been watching all his games in Lakeland. I know I haven’t. Time will tell. I too feel it is unfair to Larish making him DH and not giving him any experience in the field.

Sorry Chad, I see you also agree.

Hey, I forgot. Rich is going to be at the game tonight isn’t he? How about GK? Is this the ’68 reunion night?

Marty—I agree toooooo!

Not sure about GK but Rich was going. Jim (Say it Twice) Price just interviewed Mickey Stanley caling him on the greatest Center Fielders.
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I used to listen to a lot of games on the radio and whenever Ernie said the ball was hit out to Center or Right Center or Left Center I always got very comfortable!
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Used to sit around an old radio with my grandfather and listen to the Tigers’ broadcast. We used to score evry game.
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Paul Foytack, McAulliffe, Kuenn, Colavito, Ray Boone, Paw Paw Maxwell, Gus Zernial, Reno Bertoia, Frank Lary, John Hiller, Jim Finegan, Hank Aguirre, Chico Fernandez, Ozzie Virgil, Jake Wood. It’s a Long Lime Gone.

what an amazing play at 3B carlos!!
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good heads up play. tag the runner and get the DP at first! NICE!
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mike

What a play by Guillen .. he ia a lot better now at 3B

I think we have all agreed lately tht Carlos is playing much better at 3rd. That play was vintage Carlos. Not the play itself , but the heads up aspect of it. Carlos often shows the head up play on the base paths and it is not surprising to see him pul that one off too. I did think the guy may have got back though.

kenny is the master of pickoffs. good game so far, getting tough outs.

Jason,
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Any news on Bautista? Have the tigers waived him ? If yes.. when will we know if he clears?

That could have been a very ugly inning. As it stands it wasn’t too bad.
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At least Kenny is missing low.

well here’s sheff…. lets see how this works out…

pudge musta drank a couple protein shakes the last couple days.. where has this been all year long?! besides back in lakeland?

that was a tiger woods swing. golfed it right outta there.

this is what i was able to dig up on denny bautista..
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Dave Dombrowski said he is optimistic he will be able to trade right-hander Denny Bautista this week. Bautista’s contract was designated for assignment Friday to clear a roster spot for right-hander Joel Zumaya . “I’ll be working on that over the next couple days,” Dombrowski said. “I’ve had conversations with clubs, but you never know until you get to the final stages of discussion.”
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from freep

It does appear that Pudge is stronger with the rest he has been getting.

hey guys.. does anyone know what the heck “get the married men off the infield” means?…
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Is this an expression or another piece of nonsensical mumbo jumbo rod allen made up?

I know, Dan. In fact, after re-reading blogs, what the heck was I thinking? I’ll try and be more careful :)

Thanks Chad .. that sounds like he might not clear waivers if we have to waive him. Hate to lose him .. he wasn’t bad lately .. compared to Fossum.
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Gotta give credit to Leyland on his plan to rest pudge. If it was to get inge more playing time, or freshen pudge up, either way … a good move by JL.
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Love these NL pichers.They dont know our hitters.They just threw Pudge an 0-2 changeup.Way to go Pudge.Come on Tigers.Gotta win this one for Rich.

Just a suggestion for Cab—if you get a 1st pitch down the middle of the plate—take a hack!!!

he made up for it dan

We got a big break on that HR call.
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Rogers was just starting to get comfortable then Barton hangs in there and gets a little lucky.

this is the inning that wouldn’t end.
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be nice to get out of it with no more damage. That Barton guy needs to rethink his uniform decisions.. he looks like a clown.

Yeah,Looked like Barton golfed that one like Pudge`s.Looked like he threw him a change up also.Nice work by Kenny on Ankiel.

That was a real battle by Kenny. I will ALWAYS contend that the 2006 Series would have turned out a lot different if Leyland had started kenny instead of having the audacity to start the rookie Verlander. Kenny was THE best player in baseball for those few weeks in October.

Think the bats are tired after a cross country trip ?

I meant the trip as a whole .. not just the flight..

Could be. They are pretty quiet tonight really.
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Dolsi is eventually going to have to actually throw the ball to 1st base to keep runners close. He seems deathly afraid to throw over and if I notice that then I expect the opposition does to. They will continue to increase their lead and he will have trouble getting batters to hit into DPs.
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Talk to him Chuck and straighten him out.

Where is the the 3-run HR when you really need one?

Is Fossum any relation to Leyland? I can’t figure why he is on the roster at all.
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Maybe somebody will hit one right at Magglio.

This one is all but over. I don’t see 5 runs in our bats tonight.
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Call me ridiculous but this is where I would be throwing Rodney.

Bottom of the order is really killin’ us tonight.
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I can’t see Fossum stickin’. I mean it is pretty clear he does not have the skill set to make it up here.

Everyone has a bad night but I think the bullpen is clearly the Achilles Heel of this team.

St. Louis bullpen is 13th in the NL.We got a chance to get back in this if our bats come alive.Got all those 68 Tigers guys in the stands.One of the greatest come from behind teams in baseball history.Maybe their luck will rub off on our current teamCome on Tigers…work that pitcher

well if sheff can do that consistantly i’d be a happy camper

Not sure if I’d throw Rodney yet Dan. After Sheff’s HR we still have a chance:)

I guess. But the dude is on the roster.They will have to throw him sooner or later. But you are right, maybe this is not the time after all.
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Carlos is not hitting for powr. That is on my wish list along with Cabrera coming to life and Granderson starting to find the gaps again.

Cleveland just got beat 3-2 by SF.

Actually I agreed with you Dan. I was just making a cynical remark concerning Rodney. I see he is pitching the 9th. Excellent call! Let’s hope he can actually regain his 2006 form. Would sure help the Tigers run.

1-2-3 inning for Fernando. Tigers score 5, he’s the winner. They might.

Way to get on Marcus.

All right Edgar,get on Pudge and we bring the tying run to the plate

Then again……………..at least they made it interesting.
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Not a great night for Kenny. He struggled with his control which forced his pitch count up. St. Louis batters were patient and ended up getting hittable pitches. The team lost focus in the 5th and 6th innings. Soft middle inning relief. Some bright spots, but 3 HR’s yielded only 4 runs. Rodney had to have gotten a confidence boost out of that quick 9th…..That’s all you need to do Fernando. Carlos and Edgar had poor nights at the plate. The Tigers were definitely outplayed defensively by the Cardinals. Hope for better tomorrow.

looks like Minnesota and Chicago both won last night so back to 6 back…

I have a good feeling about tonight. The tigers hitters OWN Lohse.

We absolutely need our bullpen to pitch effectively. I think the fact that Cruceta, Bautista and now, (for different reasons), Lopez didn’t stick has really hurt. It looks like they are serious about stretching Lopez out. I see his real value as being able to come in out of the pen in whatever inning you need him too, and throw strikes. In the absence of that we have a lot of “ifs” out there.
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Miner has been decent , if not good, lately. Dolsi is interesting but gives up too many hits. Especiallly with 2 strikes. Many of these hits are broken bat singles or ground balls with eyes, so I am hoping that a little more finess with time will correct that. He really does need some instruction on holding runners on too.
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Zumaya and Rodney, are question marks. There will be times that they simply blow up and unfortunately those times will hurt the team in our attempt to clim back in the chase.
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We need a stabilizing “force” out there and not the “mix & match” or “hope & dream”, strategy we have been using for 2 years now.
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Some interesting names out there:
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http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2008/06/the-reliever-ma.html
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And I still say they should give Blaine Neal a go too.

We have some pretty interesting guys in Toledo.. Interesting also, in that most of them bat from the left side.
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Clevlen, Larish, Thomas, Joyce. These guys are ready and I would expect to see 1 or 2 of them make the club next year.
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Larish is in a tricky position, literally and figuratively. He’s not going anywhere fast if he stays at 1B. That will be Cab’s position for the next half decade.at least. JL said he should play some OF and 3B. He will be very hard-pressed to leapfrog the other 3 Mud Hen outfielders above. They are all excellent defenders and experieinced. I see some possibilites at 3B however. Hessman is not going to play third in Detroit. Inge will either be catching (and I am not a proponent of this) or be playing somewhere else. Guillen is a candidate for DH (or maybe JL figures his knees are better and puts him back at short!!).
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Much will depend on where the veteran ballplayers end up and you can never rule out a trade to open up some roster space.
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My point is I don’t think the Tigers are going to have to struggle with a Jacque Jones scenario next year!

Dan,I agree about your comments regarding Dolsi`s move to first.He really doesnt have one.From what I`ve seen,he just steps off the rubber,holds the ball over his head and waits for the runner to return to first.And we all know when a pitcher is worried about a runner they try to hurry their delivery to the plate.When that happens bad things are likely to occur as a result.Usually a couple of balls,and then a fat one right down the middle…..But,I`m not sure about the left field dilemma.Marcus has the best home run per at bat ratio,by far in the league.He is a lot better player,in my opinion than management gives him credit for.In my book,he should be starting left everyday.Bring in one of the rooks maybe in late innings or a blowout,but let him start.I dont think he is that bad of a fielder ,either

I agree Bruce. But I see Marcus as someone who will likely be playing somewhere else next year. He has always had trouble getting playing time here no matter how he performs. He is getting older, he bats from the right side, he is streaky and can go into a pronounced slump at a moment’s notice. I love the guy, but after this year I can’t see him be willing to subordinate himself any longer. He would be a treat to see playing in a hitter friendly ballpark full-time.
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I think the Tigers will want to put a little more youth, speed, hustle in the lineup next year. I see either Thomas or Joyce out there. I also see a possible surprise trade of a key veteran. I don’t want to go off on a tangent for next year…yet. There is plenty of time for that. My thoughts on this were just stimulated by JL’s comments re Larish when he was sent down and told to learn how to play somewhere else!
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My immediate concern for this year is the bullpen. A 5th starter has to be locked up too. Internally, externally or eternally, I don’t really care where he comes from, only that he arrives.
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My wish list for success this year:
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Carlos starts contributing with the long ball more
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Cabrera does what he was acuired for and paid to do
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Sheffield is not affected by nagging injuries
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Renteria is able to become more constent (on the good side) with his offense and defense (read range)
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Marus is able to take advantage of the reps he is getting now
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Curtis starts to hit some triples again
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A reliable 5th starter
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A good late-inning bullpen
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Is that asking too much? Yes, it is but I’d gladly take half of it working out and see where that takes us.

Dan,

I like many of your items on the wish list. Here’s a few more ideas:

– Consider alternating Sheffield and Thames at DH– much like the catcher rotation. This may help keep Sheff’s shoulder from wearing out.
– When Thames is at DH, play Thomas in the field– adds speed, defense, and a LHB.
– Agree that Fossum is pretty much useless. I’d prefer that they keep Bautista (assuming no one wants to trade for him) and ship Fossum out or back to Toledo as a starter option– his numbers as a starter were good.
– Vazquez may be the 5th starter option. I think Bonine deserves a few more turns but I like Vazquez’s potential. This all assumes that Dontrelle is done. (I keep waiting for the posting saying “Willis Seen Leaving Dr. Andrews Office in Birmingham.”
– Rodney and Zumaya– love ‘em or hate ‘em– are the key to the success of the bullpen. If they can get the job done, Jones and every one else will be fine. If not, its gonna be a rocky year in the ‘pen.
– Pray that Santiago makes it back and then take a 6 inning offensive lineup mentality with a defensive “relief” option. Once we reach the 7th with a lead, put Brandon at 3rd, Santiago at short, Clevlen in left (shade Grandy over to help Magglio) and tell the pitchers to keep the ball down.

That’s all– love the comments on the ’68 Tigers. My dad has always told me stories about Lolich winning 3 games and besting Gibson. He also has always said that Mickey Stanley’s move to CF was the key move of the series. It was great to see that Comerica was so packed last night– 3rd largest crowd ever on a Tuesday Night!

Brent,I wish you could have seen Mickey Stanley play center field.I havent seen anyone that could read the ball off the bat quicker than him.He was the best I ever saw at getting a jump on the ball…….I remeber Al Kaline broke his thumb or finger slamming the bat into the bat rack and lost some time healing up.When he came back he said he didnt deserve to play in the world seriesand they should let the young guys that got them there play in the series…..But the whole team wanted Kaline in there,if for nothing else,just for all the years he put in.They were all pulling for Al.Thats when they decided to move Mickey to short.I dont think he made an error in the 7 game series at short…..He was a lot like Inge,but he was a tremendous outfielder,where Inge is a tremendous infielder.That team was special…….If JL had played on that team,we wouldnt hear all that crap about no such thing as team chemistry.That team pulled for each other and put the teams interests above their own private endeavors.Baseball has changed a lot since 68.

Mickey was outstanding in CF.
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Funny thing he never really got untracked offesnively in the ’68 WS but he was a big cog ini nevertheless. I think he made a couple of errors at SS, 1 for sure, but I know they did not cost the team and occurred at times that they were rendered harmless.
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I still have a whack of newspaper clippings from tose days. I’m afraid to unbox them though as I supect they will disintegrate when they are exposed to global warming.
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Kaline turned the tide in the crucial 5th game, The Tigers were down 3 games to 1 and 3-2 in the 7th inning. It pretty much looked like they were done until Big Al delivered a 2 run single with the bases loaded to put them ahead. They went on to steal that game and the rest is history.

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