Tigers Baseball Outsider

a thinking fan's perspective

Saturday, June 4, 2011

What's On Second?

Jim Leyland explains infield
changes to 1st baseman
Miguel Cabrera
Okay, I know. The old Abbot and Costello bit right?

Well given the fact I have worked with guys named Hu and Watt – that bit has made for hours of stupid rehashed jokes when figuring project work assignments.

But now I’m serious.

Who’s on first? Why Miguel Cabrera – no issue there – hitting nicely over .300 and playing a solid one bag. No problems.

But what’s on second? That’s the question.

This season started with Will Rhymes, who could barely hit the ball past the grass line of the infield – despite some really nice defensive plays.

But the Tigers need offense.

So Scott Sizemore – hitting .400 or so in Toledo comes back up and Will goes back down. Sizemore starts hot but fizzles to the two hundred range. A month later and Sizemore is traded to Oakland for a nice reliever. Oakland sent Sizemore back down to Triple A.

And we all miss Placido Polanco. He’s on second.

In Philadelphia.

So what’s on second?

Well, Jim Leyland came out and told us it was going to be Ryan Raburn. Raburn is to be our everyday second baseman.

Raburn? Left fielder 4A player Ryan Raburn? The star of many outfield highlight reel bloopers like the fly ball that bounces off him and over the fence for a home run Ryan Raburn?


Okay, so What’s on second. But not all the time – because also playing second is Ramon “I’ve been trying to be an everyday player with this team for five years now” Santiago. And that just ain’t happening because Santiago apparently isn’t good enough to play every day.

I never really understood the concept of a Major League ball player who can field and hit being considered not to be good enough to play every day? Did he sleep with the wrong guy’s wife?

Well, if he plays everyday his numbers go down.

Okay – play him every other day. Then Raburn won’t be your everyday second baseman. Right?

Well, there’s also Danny Worth – who’s also listed on the official roster as an infielder like Santiago. Play him too? Raburn is after all listed on that same roster as an outfielder.

Maybe he plays a deep second base. Chatting with Boesch and Jackson in right and center between pitches?

I dunno.

Third base.

Well that’s Brandon Inge, has been for a decade now – great defense – no bat. He’s floating around the .200 mark right now.

What? Inge has mononucleosis? Really? He must have caught it when diving into the stands for a foul ball.

Well then who play’s third?

I don’t know.

No questions about the Tigers’ shortstop though – Jhonny Peralta is hitting great – although some may critique his range. I love the guy myself.

Our starting pitching is pretty solid right now. Sure the fourth and fifth spot guys might show up and might not – but so far pretty good. And we finally seem to have our bull pen tightened up, And Alex Avila has proved me so wrong about being our everyday catcher I feel I need to send him flowers for what I wrote here about him at the start of the season. Now he’s on the All Star ballot – and he deserves to be there.

And I really like that Andy Dirks kid – I think he is going to grow into our everyday left fielder – every day with Casper Wells and Don Kelly – oh yeah – and Ryan Raburn.

No Raburn’s on second.


No that’s Brennan Boesch.

Okay, okay I get it.

There has to be a deal brewing. There has to be something happening out in the trade waters that GM Dave Dombrowski is scheming up – perhaps building a deal to acquire Jose Reyes from the Mets?

Wouldn’t that be sweet? The Mets are struggling to keep the team afloat and Reyes is hitting .285 ish. And he plays a great second base.

Could be?

I don’t know.

What I do know is that until all this nonsense get’s straightened out – the Tigers will likely be no better than a .500 team. And that Cinderella mistake by the lake Cleveland no longer looks like a fluke – this first half of the season looks like the Tigers in 2006 and 2009 – blowing the AL Central away before the All Star break – a month away now.

Can Cleveland keep this pace up?

Are the dastardly bastardly Chicago White Sox starting to put it together to make a run after the Tigers? Will the Tigers – currently in second – four and a half behind the Indians and three games up on Chicago as June starts – will they even be in the race come mid July?

What a strange season.

It’s like a bad Vaudeville skit, for sure.

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