Dombrowski on Granderson, leadoff

One of the questions that came out during the morning Q&A session with Dave Dombrowski was the oft-asked question about who will be Detroit’s leadoff hitter. Dombrowski said they don’t have have a traditional leadoff hitter in line for this season, but they didn’t last year, either. That drew some surprised reactions from the crowd. One fan could be heard saying, ‘Wow.’ Dombrowski clarified his remarks as he went along, then rephrased it a bit when talking with reporters later.

Here’s the quote:

“We really didn’t have a leadoff hitter last year, as far as your traditional leadoff numbers. I mean, I’m not taking away anything from Curtis’ performance, but when you look at leadoff numbers, those last year were ones where we scuffled at times, especially versus left-handers. So we didn’t have a traditional, on base percentage, high stolen bases, that type of thing out of that role. We had a guy who hit hte ball with pop in that [role], and very good. So I don’t think we’ll have the traditional leadoff hitter once again. We don’t have that type of guy. I don’t know who we’ll have hitting No. 1 at this point.”

5 Comments

Really shocked at the comment from the person in the crowd. While we all loved Curtis anyone who knows anything knows that he wasn’t a stereotypical leadoff guy, and last year was probably his worst as far as OBP although I don’t know that for sure.

HEY JASON –

I didn’t realize until late in the day that they were streaming the Q&A on the internet and only caught the last 2 sessions from Tigerfest. Will they be putting these on some sort of podcast and replaying any of them? IT WOULD BE GREAT, I THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE WOULD LOVE TO WATCH IF IT WERE MADE AVAILABLE.

GK

I can’t tell from what’s written here if the reaction was in response to DD saying they don’t have a leadoff hitter for this year, or they that they didn’t have one last year.
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In any case, I see that Leyland is wanting to try Jackson at leadoff and Sizemore hitting second. Typical. Just replace the two who have left with the two new guys. Not exactly creative thinking. Again.
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So now we’re saying we didn’t really have a leadoff hitter last year but that didn’t stop JL from hitting Grandy first until the very end of the season. I mean, we’re talking Granderson leading off and Clete Thomas hitting third for stretches last year? Am I the only one who questions this?
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–Rich

Well I sure question it too.
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I also question why a manager would not find an alternative to playing a banged up, player like Brandon when he was mostly impotent at the plate and limited on defense.
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One huge problem that the team has is the stubborness of its manager. I have heard him described as “inventive”. Well I think that term may be accurate if used in the proper context. He tried to invent players and the roles he saw them fulfilling. Even with the writing on the wall. We saw this with Thomas, Granderson, Everett, Inge, Zumaya and Laird.
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JL would help his team by recognizing a failure in philosophy or strategy and then (more importantly) CORRECTING it–not perpetuating it “till it works”.
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I like JL and his gruff demeanor and no nonsense persona–but I think he certainly works harder on cultivating the image than he does on accepting the responibilites of fine-tuning the team (A.K.A. chemistry)
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Leyland was as responsible as anybody for the collapse we suffered through last season. I hope he has grown as a manager but you know what they say about “Old Dogs”.

Granderson started 25 games last year batting somewhere other than leadoff. So Leyland did try something new there.
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Clete Thomas hot 200 with a 300 OBP and a 597 OPS in the 3 hole, so Leyland’s move there was terrible and he stuck with it far too long.
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He did move Cabrera in the order, so there is another Leyland switch.
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Jackson hitting leadoff makes sense because he has speed, something nobody else does on this team. Anyone have a better idea? Slotting Sizemore into the #2 spot would probably be dicier. I think Santiago should bat there when he starts, as he can get a bunt down and rarely hits into a double play.
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We can debate Leyland’s inventiveness all we want – the fact is he stuck with Raburn, Polanco and Ordonez and Lyon, and even Porcello, after a slow start last year to fantastic results in the second half, so it’s not like his “stubbornness” is all bad…

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