Leyland: Don’t try for 2nd just to disrupt throw home

Jhonny Peralta had the Tigers’ lone hit with runners in scoring position Saturday, and it resulted in Detroit’s two runs. But in the process, he also might have run the Tigers out of a bigger rally.

With his eighth-inning flare to right field, he not only drove in the first runs off Pedro Strop since July 3, he turned what had been a 3-0 shutout bid into a one-run game. When he kept on going to second as right fielder Nick Markakis threw home, however, he became an easy target for first baseman Mark Reynolds, who cut off the throw and started Peralta in a rundown.

It wasn’t anything orchestrated on the Tigers’ part to try to make sure the second run scored.

“Really, the general rule thumb there is if the ball is low, you can’t go, because it’s a ball that can be cut,” manager Jim Leyland said. “If the guy air-mails it and throws it high, then you go on to second. It was probably just a mistake in judgment on Jhonny’s part, to be honest with you.”

Asked about the philosophy of taking the extra base and sacrificing the out to get the run home, Leyland said:

“I think that’s one of the most — not in this particular case, i’m just talking in general — one of the most misunderstood plays in baseball. When there’s a confusion there whether they’re going to throw the guy out at home or not, years ago they thought: If you think they’re going to throw him out at home, keep going. I don’t believe in that. You can’t do that. You’ve gotta go by the way the ball’s thrown.”

That’s an area where Leyland seemingly goes against some of the traditional thinking.

Can’t find specific stats on rundowns on the basepaths with a runner going home. Bigger-picture, however, STATS Inc. keeps a category known as unforced errors on the basepaths. According to STATS, the Tigers have made 38 outs trying to take an extra base, third-highest among AL teams behind the Angels and Rays.

17 Comments

I once lived in Chicago-not far from Wrigley actually. Still have baseball “buds” there. Staunch Cub fans. The word I hear is that Soriano has been very reliable defensively and has improved his game. He has always been better than Raburn or Young.
If you look at his stats you will find he has not made an error this year and has 9 assists.
So perhaps it is best to research things before jumping to conclusions based on history. We don’t need another DH, we need another corner outfielder who can hit-preferably right-handed.
No it won’t happen. But it should have before a signing like Baker.

The few times I saw Soriano this year he was messing up on defense. I’m still guilty of jumping to a conclusion, but based on too small of a sample. I’ll concede the point based on eye witnesses that follow the club. The bigger issue is his salary, which is $18m per season for both 2013 and 2014. Even if the Cubs ate a chunk, it would still be a lot of payroll used up, wouldn’t it? Granted this is not my area of knowledge.

Heard the Cubs will eat all but $3M each year. And I side with Rich on Soriano’s defense. But like slowbyrne, I don’t think the deal will fly. However, as he has indicated in the past, Soriano would bring a productive RHB to the table…Probabl all moot points anyway.

$3m per season is financially do-able. Management probably feels that we already have the pieces in place to win the division and it’s hard to argue that. These guys just have to play to their abilities. We can apply temporary band-aids but the players and field management staff have to come through regardless. If I don’t do my job correctly, I don’t get replaced while still drawing a salary, you know?

awww but baker did so well last night :p – but hey I was sure glad to see Villarreal pitching well…..same with coke but to a lesser degree. Frustrating to see our bats go cold against a pitcher who has not pitched well

def. starting to rethink JP batting 5th….leaving 7 men on base is rough

I think Detroit’s #5 hitter should be one with the most experience. On our club, that leaves Peralta and Infante. I think Jim sees Omar in an entirely different light than hitting 5th, but I think it might be a pretty good idea to try it. If not, I still say Peralta, against all pitchers. He did drive in both of our runs, after all. They do want to avoid a revolving door there.

Yep. Jhonny pulled a boner… not that the offense was doing anything up until that point, anyway.
-Mike

http://burrilltalksbaseball.mlblogs.com

The Angels and Rays at the top makes sense as both are super aggressive and have team speed. The Tigers third,one of the least aggressive. C’mon. No way. It is?? Wow.

The Markakis throw was up the line and would have been cut for that reason. If it’s on line and Cabrera still beats the throw, Peralta would have been in scoring position. That said, I like Jim’s strategy on this issue. And it’s very true that this is one of the most misunderstood plays in baseball. I had to explain it here at home last night and the looks on some of the faces in the stands also bore that out. With Cabrera running and Markakis throwing, I probably would have done the same as Jhonny. He had to decide in an instant while on the move.
Getting yourself in a rundown has been overly praised by analysts like, say, Tim McCarver, when the play involves someone like, say, Derek Jeter. Know what I mean?
The worst part here is we’ve uncovered yet another facet that the Tigers do poorly.

Barring a trade, JL has one last chance at getting the #5 right.
He has to show faith in one man – it perplexes me how you could put the most stressful and important position in a platoon situation. Jhonny should have been given the opportunity unconditionally to try and make it work.
If last nights game is any indication of the run home, the Big 2 aren’t going to hit many HR’s increasingly being forced to swing at any scraps left remotely near the plate.
I have felt for some time the #5 can only be Peralta, Jackson or Dirks on the current roster. Dirks is questionable against lefties and a big ask for someone with limited experience. Further, JL wont tandem lefties anyway.
AJax hits well regardless of the pitcher with identical 390+ OBP splits. It is crazy for your third highest RBI to be leading off, particularly given his limited opportunities – 3rd in RBI’s yet 5th in RISP opportunities.
Infante, Dirks and even Young could fill the top two positions.

I would disagree with Jackson hitting 5th based on my theory that the spot has to be filled with a veteran hitter. That’s Peralta and Infante. But you’re definitely correct that it should be one man. I feel that my two choices here would come through often enough over the remainder of the season to address the problem. We’re not going to get another Victor or even come close to that. And the 6-9 guys have to do more too. It’s down to the need to perform up to snuff at this point.

Do you think the #5 hitter should have bunted with Miggy and Biggy on 1st and 2nd with nobody out?

Certainly not a conventional move. Then again, those runners are a double play waiting to happen. And can #5 even lay one down?

Speaking of Soriano, I read he contiues to waive his 10 and 5 rights to go to the Giants. Because it’s too cold?

The Tigers are at a critical time of the season. If they don’t win darn close to 25 of their remaining 42 they aren’t likely to move on.
You don’t win that many games by frequently grounding into double plays with your #5 (or #6) hitter.
With the struggles that have defined who even the #5 hitter should be, Leyland has to look at every at bat there with situational oversight. If this means bunting to move runners over–then yes do it. Because the dream of watching a ball split the gap in that situation has (helloooo!), not been happening.
Of course they want to parachute someone into the role and have them “own” it. But is it going to happen?
The “best of a bad lot” approach hasn’t been working either.
There is some good sense in considering AJ, Infante and Dirks. And the answer is simple, foot speed. Staying out of those rally kiling and momentum sucking DPs.
The power guy JL envisions there cleaning up the plethora of base runners has simply not been happening. A new thought process is necessary.
Maybe one that sustains an inning rather than hoping for shattered fences should be looked at.
Oh, and about Soriano’s defense—did I say that he has committed zero errors and made nine assists?

“Now batting in the fifth position the designated hitter, #41 Victor Martinez”. Aren’t those the sweetest words in the English language?? Now how many guys does it take to replace V-Mart after the horrific injury last January?? Well, we actually started changing his role BEFORE the injury by signing Gerald Laird. That’s when I learned to trust DD because I doubted the need to do that but it’s worked okay. Right after the injury Mr. I. did a long range forcast on pizza sales and decided yes we could afford that Fielder kid at first base. Wow our batting champion, Miguel Cabrera was okay with moving to third base. What a win/win for us we don’t have to have Inge/Kelly at third. Plus we get someone with 30+ homer potential to bat behind Miguel, who now is our THIRD place hitter. They both play in the All-Star game At KC. But now who bats in that #5 position??? Very critical because that’s where V-Mart hit. Oh, let’s plug our left fielder, Delmon Young in @ the fifth position
and rotate a bunch of guys at DH. That way Mr. Leyland can challenge for the most different lineups in one season. Well that lasts until Delmon sees himself quickly moving from left field to DH. Now we all remember what happened in New York in late April and how it locked Delmon in to the fifth position as the DH for a loooong time.

So now it is the middle of August and we are in a dog fight with those pesky Hawk Sox. This is a pennant race and we are considering giving Mr Leyland the option of rotating several players in the five hole. To hell we are. But we will give V-Mart his due. It will take two men. Jhonny Peralta against RIGHThanded pitching. Delmon Young against LEFThanded pitching. You all can look at the stats it’s all there. We do give Mr. Leyland the flexibility to put Jhonny there when he has a 10-22 against a Brian Duensing in MN the other day. But we also shake our head, when he ignores that Delmon had a 1-2 with a homer against Baltimore’s starter last night. Switch them last night and no telling what the score might have been. Avila/Laird bat eighth all the time. We have a 2/9 flip flop with Dirks and Infante. Boesch is sixth against righties. Baker gets 7th against lefties for now.

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