Saturday, June 14, 2008

Time for Thames

The Detroit media is asking whether it's time for Marcus Thames to play every day. Given the Tigers' options and Thames power, I'd say the answer is yes.

Thames is reputed for bashing LHP, but a look at his splits from 2006, when he hit 26 HR in 348 AB and posted an .882 OPS (for OPS+ of 123), show he had a .904 OPS vs. RHP in 218 AB and an .846 OPS vs. LHP in 130 AB.

For his career, Thames' OPS is .764 vs. RHP and .853 vs. LHP. He probably will never hit for a high average (.241 lifetime) or walk a lot (.306 OBP) but he can slug (.494). His SLG is .510 this year and .549 and .498 in 2006 and 2007. His OPS+ is average to better-than-average.

His OPS with RISP lifetime is .916 and it's .888 with men on base. In 19 AB with the sacks full, he's got 5 HR and a 2.030 OPS.

Perhaps with regular playing time, Thames will hit RHP, as in 2006. He has seen more regular playing time since the middle of May, and his OPS is .930 during that stretch (despite batting .222). He's got 6 HR and 15 RBI in his last 19 games. For the year, he's got a 1.080 OPS in the No. 3 spot (25 AB), which is where the Tigers can use some punch (.699 team OPS from spot). Thames has half the 6 HR produced from the 3 hole.

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