Monday, June 14, 2010

Bottoms up

Carlos Guillen returned to Detroit's lineup on May 28 and since then the Tigers have batted .271/.328/.444 and averaged 4.1 runs. When Guillen was out of the lineup, Detroit batted .265/.329/.411 and averaged 4.5 runs in 30 games.

This might not seem a big difference, but the Tigers' offense is better. First, some of the work done since Guillen returned was done without Magglio Ordonez in the lineup and with Austin Jackson struggling at the top.

Guillen's return and move to second base allowed the Tigers to replace a struggling bat in Scott Sizemore and drop Brandon Inge from the No. 6 spot to No. 7. Brennan Boesch's hitting has been a plus as well as the fact Detroit released Adam Everett and started giving more time to Alex Avila at catcher over Gerald Laird. Avila has started to hit and the bottom of the order, which was a black hole, has turned more of a shade of gray.

Inge is batting .357/.390/.464 since Guillen's return. Avila is hitting .370/.433/.481. Boesch, who was hitting well in Guillen's absence, has gone .340/.431/.660 with Guillen hitting behind him. His OBP was .358 and his slugging was .608 without Guillen.

Hopefully, Guillen stays healthy and we can see if these numbers are a trend rather than simply a blip of good hitting.

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