18 down 144 more to go. Through one-ninth of the season, the Tigers aren't the AL shredding juggernaut we had hoped they'd be. But being 10-8 isn't anything to be complaining about. Here's just a few notes as I have a little more time to kill before the Tigers first game on the West Coast.
Walk This Way:
The Tigers have drawn 18 walks with runners in scoring position with two outs. The down side is that the Tigers also have 16 strikeout and only 14 hits. But it shows the tigers can be patient when it counts, when the hitting starts up again (it sounds like a mantra...if we repeat it enough it will happen right?) that will mean more runs scored, and less pressure on the pitching staff.
The Tigers staff leads the Majors with 12 quality starts, tied with San Fransisco. Justin Verlander and Jeremy Bonderman are a combined 8 for 8, ye they only have one win to show for it. The 8 quality starts are are better than the combined totals of Greg Maddux (1), Barry Zito (2), Johan Santana (2) and Curt Schilling (2). The New York Yankees staff only has 5 quality starts this year.
All Things Considered:
The Baltimore Orioles are 11-7 and second place in the AL East. The Kansas City Royals, took a weekend series from the AL Central leading Twins. The worst team the White Sox have faced is 8-10 Texas. That being said, maybe 10-8 isn't that bad of a record.
Shuffle up and Deal:
Out of the box suggestion for the Tigers batting order. Switch Carlos Guillen to lead-off, Curtis Granderson to 3rd, and Gary Sheffield to 5th. Guillen is doing what you want a lead off hitter to do. He is tied for the team lead in walks with 13, stolen bases with 3 and is just trailing Placido Polanco (.402) in OBP at .400. Curtis is having a great year, and his team leading 11 extra base hits (which is why his slugging percentage is .529) would do more damage if he had Guillen and Polanco to get on base ahead of him. Sheffield batting behind Ordonez might lead to Magglio getting more pitches to hit. I don't see many pitchers, going around Magglio to face Sheffield if he ever starts to hit like he should. As for the bottom of the line-up I would like to see Marcus Thames as a starter. Platoon Craig Monroe and Sean Casey for lefties and righties, with Marcus playing at first when Craig is in the line-up and in left field when Casey starts. If Marcus can handle first base I'd advocate starting him full time when Craig begins his annual July/August hot streak.
That's all I've got for now, the only question I have left is what's on Curtis Granderson's IPod?