Lots of moves today

First off, the roster moves: Carlos Guillen is placed on the 15-day DL with right shoulder inflammation. Lefty Clay Rapada has been optioned back to Triple-A Toledo. Clete Thomas and Jeff Larish are recalled from Toledo.

Then there’s the lineup. With Guillen out and Magglio Ordonez struggling for extra-base hits, manager Jim Leyland shuffled his lineup a lot. Curtis Granderson will bat 5th behind Cabrera, with Ordonez batting 6th. Josh Anderson moves into the leadoff spot for tonight, with Thomas batting 3rd.

TIGERS

  1. Anderson, LF
  2. Polanco, 2B
  3. Thomas, RF
  4. Cabrera, 1B
  5. Granderson, CF
  6. Ordonez, DH
  7. Inge, 3B
  8. Laird, C
  9. Santiago, SS

36 Comments

Well that’s interesting. I didn’t consider Granderson 5th, but he just may give Cab more protection than Ordonez would have. The downside there is baserunning behind Miguel. And it alternates the LH and RH hitters for a stretch there. And welcome back, Clete, you’re hitting 3rd. Go out there and have fun. No pressure, kid. :-)
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I’m glad to see JL actually do something here. Absolutely improved the defense, hey?
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–Rich

I’m happy to see Carlos go on the DL, for his health. He’ll be needed as the season goes on.
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I guess Larish and Clete are the best options to bring up, which scares me a little. DD needs to look for another young outfielder to compliment Anderson & Granderson. I think those 2 are going to be solid ballplayers for years to come. That being said, DD had better not trade Anderson away like he has with so much young talent lately.
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I still wish there was a way to bring Hessman up. He has proven power and RBI capabilities in the bigs, but he’s a corner IF’er and not an OF’er. As much as I’d hate to lose him, I’m sure some other team could use his bat and maybe we could get a decent OF prospect. DD needs to look ahead, not just right now.

Yeah Rich, that’s about as solid of a defensive lineup that this organization can put out right now. Not shabby at all!

Well, it is curious that Granderson is batting 5th, I thought for sure he would go #3. I hope that and think that Curtis will react well. I have heard him say that he loves to lead off, it is were he likes to be?? Lots of speed out there in the outfield.

I suspect that, when asked, Curtis said he likes leading off because that’s what he was doing at the time. He always gives the correct answer. Nice young man.
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There is possibly a commitment for the time being to a more “small ball” approach. And I hate that term for it, it’s baseball, good baseball. There’s no such thing as a small win. We’ll need to win with pitching and defense, and that’s not a new concept.
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Buck, unfortunately for him, Hessman cleared waivers this spring and nobody claimed him. Same with Clevlen, which surprised me (and him).
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Now, if we could get Grandy to steal some bases, Ordonez wouldn’t hit into so many DPs. Of course with Big Cab on base, you can forget about triples. :-)
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–Rich

Leyland has lost it. Fine, I can see moving Granderson down in the lineup, but to 3rd, not to fifth. Who is hitting 3rd instead? Clete Thomas???? he was hitting .236 in AAA. First of all, would Leyland just play Larish against righties already. The guy can really hit and Clete Thomas can’t. Leyland just loves DHing Ordonez, but that makes the lineup much, much worse. Clete Thomas hitting 3rd? Are you kidding?

Certainly some strange, but interesting , lineup choices today.
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The main thing is though—they put Carlos on the DL. At least they finally showed the logic and wisdom that they are being paid for and that the fans can rightfully expect.
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Not real sure why they Larish/Thomas combination was brough up. I could see Larish–we need the power. Thomas is almost redundant with Anderson now sure to get decen playing time.
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I would have brought Ramirez or Clevlen and Raburn would be gone.
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Today’s lineup is a strange one. Courageous in one sense, (putting Grandy in the middle of the lineup), but I too would have had him batting 3rd where he might get another late inning AB. Also in a position ot have 2 speedsters on the paths at one time for the 4 and 5 hitters. Oh Well-don’t think it is such a good idea to demote Ordonez and replace him with a rookie. In fact I am shocked to see that. Replacing him with Granderson could be tolerated but one has to wonder how Ordonez reacts to this.
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As to Thomas–I don’t get it. Why bring Larish up and sit him?
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Perhaps this is a start of a trial and error period for players to find their spot in the batting order.
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Ordonez behind MCab seems like a good idea to me, and one that Maggs could accept I’m sure but here it is the #5 guy is DL’s and Ordonez gets dropped to 6th? How does he feel about that/ How does Inge feel about that?
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My lineup would be:
Anderson
Polanco
Granderson
MCab
Ordonez
Inge
Larish
Laird
Santiago

Got to give it to JL – this lineup is definitely gut instinct and not being conservative!!
Protecting Cabs and posting a L/R combo appear to be the main factors in his thinking. Even though Josh wasn’t getting many starts (and Larish earlier in the season), it appears JL wanted another leftie ruling out Clevlen and Ramirez. Clete has hardly set the world on fire from the 6 position at AAA hitting .236, but does have an OBP of .349 with 7 steals. A couple of quick, base stealing scrappers either side of Polanco might not be as silly as it seems with guys on base for Miggs, Curtis and Maggs. Clete was reliable in 2008 from his 116AB hitting .284 and .366OBP which no doubt is what JL is remembering.
Hopefully Josh can quickly blow the cobwebs away having no AB’s since 29th April.

thomas being brought up is a joke.. and hitting 3rd goes way beyond that.
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i would hate to play for this team.. performance goes unrewarded always in preference for leyland’s “boys”

Clete Thomas has hit .308 in his last ten games at Toledo. It depends on which stats you choose to look at.
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–Rich

Clete is a keeper. No question. I don’t think it was an appropriate decision to bat him 3rd though.
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I hope he hits the feces out of the ball, but it does seem that JL does not understand human nature as much as he has been given credit for. All tht being said (and complained about) I am glad that Carlos was DL’d (hope for a complete recovery) and that the lineup was shaken up–such as it is.

It was the lack of guys getting on base at the top of the order that warranted the shakeup – OBP figures of Curtis .33; Polly .303; Maggs .327 and Carlos .267 around Miggs .467. Clete does have a cool head, base stealing and high OBP to go similarly with Josh’s .367 were the background to JL’s thinking and worth a shot.

I’m glad I got that last post off in time!! After the double not getting a run home it reminded me of the total lack of speed after Curtis which has cost the Tigers plenty of runs batted in at the top half of the order.

We are a lucky ball team to have Santiago as our “backuo” ShortStop. I think he is every bit as good (if not better) than Everett is out there.
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I hope Inge can maintain his stroke. He looks like he could be struggling at the plate again.
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Heck of a play by Punto on Grandrson.

Look at the Twins kick the ball around. We’re throwing their own game back in their faces. I knew this would work. This is how you play baseball. Fast and aggressive.
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–Rich

I am having a difficult time with the official scorers this year. I would have called Inge’s hit—a hit. That’s a pretty tough error to call on someone playing a hot shot on the backhand at the hot corner. “Too hot too handle”

Clete’s triple is only the Tigers 5th for the season. Sure good to watch a game where we have energy and the opposing pitcher has to work hard with no breaks.

Back to back homers are sure sweet!! Curtis probably feels right at home coming after Miggs with the bases left open more times than not!!

Will be interesting how many pitches JL lets Porcello with 70 down after 6 innings. If he is still trying to preserve him, one more, mid 80’s count and go to Rincon or Nate for some work.

I can’t force myself to believe that they called up Larish to sit on the bench again. If maggs doesn’t start hitting like he should be, I can see Larish assuming some of that DH role.
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Very pleased with Porcello tonight.

I can’t force myself to believe that they called up Larish to sit on the bench again. If maggs doesn’t start hitting like he should be, I can see Larish assuming some of that DH role.
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Very pleased with Porcello tonight.

I can’t force myself to believe that they called up Larish to sit on the bench again. If maggs doesn’t start hitting like he should be, I can see Larish assuming some of that DH role.
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Very pleased with Porcello tonight.

Strange triple post.
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Hate to say JL is a genius with the lineup ( after all he probably is taking advice from this BLOG), but it really needed to be done. The bottom of the lineup has carried the club and it is now showing signs of what it is–the bottom of the lineup. The shakeup was pretty critical.
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Rincon is a very good call. He is a forgotten entity and a guy who still has a potential and capacity in our bullpen.

Yep – JL just doesn’t like resting any of the old top five – before today only Polly and Carlos had missed one game. Even Torre rests Manny about every 10-14 days.

It’s good to see tighter umpiring this year with pitches having to be strikes to be called strikes. Strange pulling Miggs and not Maggs when he had a chance to get the cycle.

JL is at leat bright enough to give Nate and Rincon some work. I have a feeling Rincon is going to be a surprise for us this year.
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What an efficient outing and a great outing for Porcello.
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And smart move by JL to take him out when he did. There have been times he might not have done that

Dave–very good point. Though realistically a triple for MCab is as unlikely as a McCain/Palin ticket in 2012.

Well, I admit that I was not all that excited about Clete, but he proved me wrong and I am certainly glad that I was wrong. It all seemed to work out and they took advantage of unusual errors by the Minnesota Twins. That is usually the thing that happens to us in that stupid dome. (side note it will be interesting to see what happens next year when they go to that outdoor stadium, sure will be cold early in the season).
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Porcello was good and had his pitches working for him and got ground balls. And can you ever remember when we have kept Mauer off the bases for two days????
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GO TIGERS
GO WINGS.

Leyland is looking like a genious after this game. The shook up lineup certainly worked. Great shutout win for Porcello.

Crazy thought of the night: the Tigers have played in Comerica for ten years now and this is one of the few times I’ve seen them run a lineup out there that was actually suited to play in this ballpark.
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I didn’t have much time to expand on the Clete Thomas thing since the game was beginning. What I saw was that he’d been hot lately, and the Tigers have a history of calling up the guy who’s performing the best. Stats aside, I’ve been impressed with Clete all along. He looks like a fine young ballplayer, and possibly one of those guys who performs better in the big leagues. It happens. If you were still watching in the 8th inning, you saw that both Anderson and Larish were blown away by that tough lefthander Breslow, but Clete managed to draw a walk. He has the type of hitting approach that allows him to hit lefties. He’s a good outfielder, has speed, and like Anderson, adds some energy. I have no problem with Clete Thomas in our lineup. Stats don’t tell the whole story.
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Lots of good things going on tonight. We put pressure on the Twins, actually “Twinned” them for a change. That play where Casilla failed to get that grounder, Anderson had aggressively rounded third and drew a throw. That throw could have gone into the stands. Make ‘em throw it around. This is good baseball. Of course, you have to have pitching to play this style, and Porcello provided that. I think we have a very good rotation going here. We’re getting to the bullpen late which means they remain rested and we have our better guys available more often than not. I like the way it’s shaping up.
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6-4 in the division, .600 ball. That will definitely work.
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Lefty tomorrow, so we won’t see this lineup. It will be interesting to see which of our LH bats JL will choose to start along with Raburn. See how he’s thinking here.
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–Rich

Wow, the Kid looked awesome tonight. Sure makes it tough to bring Dontrelle back no matter how he looks tomorrow.

–Ed

Difficult to be on JL’s case after a great game for him and the team. Hopefully tonight and the team selection was a turning point for the team and his management style.
I would like for JL to now trust the bench more and use them for full games, not just the occasional pinch hit or run. Prior to tonights game, Carlos and Polly had missed one game with Curtis, Maggs, Miggs and Binge yet to have a day off. Santiago, Everett and Larish (assuming Josh is now a regular!!) should be used more often and give these guys a day off, particularly on the long stretches of consecutive games or poor travel schedules like the KC game after LA.
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Rich, the funny thing is Clete’s figures were not bad to begin with. Anyone with good defense, speed with stolen bases and has OBP consistently around .35 is a pretty darn good team member in my opinion.

Great offense and defense tonight, helped out by some errors – liked it. I missed most of the fireworks though, , it was already 6-0 by the time I got to sit down and watch! I don’t think I breathed the entire time Nate was pitching though! He came out without a scratch, but those walks scared me. I too am not sure #6 is right for Ordonez, but we’ll see, may not even be permanent. And get healthy Carlos, you are still My Tiger!

I was amused last night to see Larish called in to pinch hit against a lefty and not Raburn. This after Josh and Ramon (his switch hitting doesn’t register as a RHer) have been starved of starts with the recent string of LH starters. Go figure.

Quote of the night:
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“People don’t realize how much speed affects the game,” Jim Leyland
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Teach us, oh great one. :-) Nah, he’s probably correct in regards to most people. Certainly folks on this blog know the importance of speed.
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Probably Thomas and Raburn tonight. Looking for any positive, Raburn has had some good games in Chicago. Another lefty, Cliff Lee, on Friday, but I’d play Anderson against him.
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Good stat of the day: we have the best record within the division.
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–Rich

Has everyone been sleeping for the first 3 months of the season, the middle relievers have blown more games tan i care to count. If it was not for everyone in the bullpen other than Seay we would be a half a dozen games in first right know and the inability of the coach to know when to leave a starter in and when to take a starter out. The trade deadline will come and go just like the winter meetings and we will do nothing to bolster the middle relief problems. Just keep bringing in the clowns to blow great starting pitching efforts. What a waste…

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