Pace Game III

The Detroit Tigers are baseball’s best team with a 59-29 record on July 12th, 2006. Even if I had had the audacity to predict something like that back in March, I don’t know if I’d have even believed myself. I know that the people I talk to about baseball on a day-to-day basis would have laughed me out of the room. Nevertheless, the Tigers have shown that they are not only contenders, but a force to be reckoned with in the American League Central. A lot can happen in 74 games and things will shuffle amongst several teams from now until the July 31st trading dealine, but I like the direction this team is headed in, both now and in the future.

Here is my third look at the pace of the offense for 2006:

NAME G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS
Curtis Granderson 160 609 105 169 37 7 20 79 87 179 13 7 0.278 0.366 0.462 0.829
Magglio Ordonez 153 591 87 184 29 0 29 114 48 88 2 6 0.312 0.362 0.511 0.873
Placido Polanco 138 587 72 168 28 0 6 59 20 41 2 4 0.285 0.318 0.361 0.679
Ivan Rodriguez 134 556 77 171 29 6 13 72 22 85 6 2 0.308 0.335 0.450 0.786
Carlos Guillen 156 556 92 166 48 4 18 96 72 90 22 9 0.298 0.379 0.497 0.875
Chris Shelton 158 554 74 156 22 7 29 77 50 156 2 4 0.282 0.348 0.508 0.857
Brandon Inge 156 541 81 120 29 4 31 87 46 145 6 7 0.221 0.281 0.463 0.743
Craig Monroe 138 495 81 122 31 0 24 77 24 120 2 4 0.245 0.280 0.454 0.733
Marcus Thames 112 372 72 110 31 0 31 64 41 88 2 2 0.297 0.373 0.634 1.006
Omar Infante 63 199 26 52 9 4 4 22 9 46 2 2 0.259 0.304 0.398 0.702
Vance Wilson 55 162 22 48 13 0 7 24 0 35 0 4 0.295 0.319 0.511 0.830
Alexis Gomez 74 140 24 39 6 2 2 11 7 28 7 0 0.276 0.313 0.382 0.694
Ramon Santiago 53 114 15 22 0 2 0 2 2 22 2 0 0.194 0.219 0.226 0.445
Dmitri Young 28 109 9 18 6 0 0 7 7 33 2 0 0.169 0.222 0.220 0.443
162 5648 838 1550 322 35 215 793 436 1180 68 50 0.274 0.330 0.458 0.788



Four players are on pace to top 25 home runs, including Brandon Inge at 31. Inge’s other numbers aren’t very good at all, but he continues to deliver big power at the bottom of the lineup. Surprisingly, just one player is on pace for 100+ runs batted in. Magglio Ordonez has been able to stay healthy and is producing just as the team had hoped when they signed him from the Chicago White Sox last year. He has already played one more game than he played all of last year. Ordonez is battling Carlos Guillen for the offensive MVP of the team and if both kept at their current pace, I’d be inclined to hand Guillen the prize. He is just two games away from matching his 2005 total. The health of these two have been every bit as instrumental in the team’s success as the excellent pitching. I have to make the standard comment about Curtis Granderson‘s exorbitant strikeout total. Obviously, I don’t like it, but you can’t say enough about what he has done as the team’s leadoff man this year.

Chris Shelton weathered a horrible June and has started out July very nicely putting him on pace for a very solid season after his white-hot April. One thing I’d love to see improve in the second half is Placido Polanco‘s plate patience. The .318 on-base percentage he currently sports is his lowest since a 94-game stint with St. Louis in 2002 (.316). Given that he has a full-time job now, Marcus Thames‘ numbers remain skewed because he could play as many as 20 more games than his 112 pace. Pacing is by no means a perfect science. I’d like to see some separation in Thames’ home runs and RBI totals.

How about the pitching?

NAME G GS W L Sv Hld IP H ER R HR BB SO K/9 WHIP ERA
Jeremy Bonderman 33 33 15 7 0 0 219 197 85 85 11 55 204 8.35 1.14 3.46
Nate Robertson 33 33 15 9 0 0 212 203 79 90 24 75 144 6.09 1.31 3.36
Kenny Rogers 33 33 20 6 0 0 210 203 90 96 28 50 120 5.10 1.19 3.85
Justin Verlander 31 31 18 7 0 0 203 179 68 72 20 61 127 5.61 1.17 3.01
Mike Maroth 17 17 9 4 0 0 88 103 35 37 15 28 41 4.13 1.48 3.56
Joel Zumaya 66 0 7 2 2 37 79 50 18 20 9 37 99 11.22 1.08 2.08
Zach Miner 13 13 11 2 0 0 77 70 22 26 7 24 53 6.21 1.21 2.57
Fernando Rodney 68 0 7 6 13 18 75 50 31 42 7 41 77 9.22 1.20 3.73
Todd Jones 61 0 2 9 42 0 63 77 41 41 6 13 20 2.91 1.44 5.82
Jason Grilli 46 0 0 2 0 9 52 52 22 24 4 26 18 3.14 1.47 3.77
Roman Colon 22 2 2 0 2 6 45 52 24 24 9 15 31 6.20 1.46 4.74
Jamie Walker 52 0 0 0 0 13 44 31 6 6 6 4 37 7.50 0.79 1.13
Bobby Seay 26 0 0 0 0 0 28 26 20 20 2 17 22 7.04 1.50 6.46
Jordan Tata 13 0 0 0 0 0 26 17 11 13 2 13 11 3.86 1.14 3.86
Chris Spurling 17 0 0 0 0 0 20 24 7 7 4 7 7 3.18 1.50 3.18
Wilfredo Ledezma 11 0 2 0 0 4 6 4 0 2 0 2 4 5.40 0.90 0.00
Tigers 162 162 109 53 59 87 1454 1335 560 604 153 466 1016 6.29 1.24 3.46



Few were more critical of the Kenny Rogers than myself. This blog was not yet in existence, but I was livid. I’m here to say that I was (obviously) wrong. Rogers started for the American League All-Stars last night and is on pace for 20 wins. His 2nd half durability is a question mark after a hot start in 2005, but at least some of his fall off could be attributed to the camera man incident. Even if he doesn’t win 20 games, he has been a true asset to this staff.

Justin Verlander has been one of the biggest surprises in all of baseball this year, but Jim Leyland appears to be set on not over-extending his prized rookie. In fact, Verlander won’t start again until July 18th. Despite his amazing success, he might not even win Rookie of the Year in the American League because of division opponent, Francisco Liriano. I’d rather Leyland protect the arm for the future (and maybe playoffs) than run him out there to accumulate stats for some award.

How great has Zach Miner been? Mike Maroth was pitching remarkably well before going down with an elbow problem and Miner has filled in beautifully. I don’t he can be expected to continue with a 2.57 earned run average, but if he can give six-plus innings and get the game to the bullpen with a lead, he will make plenty of fans happy. I haven’t even mentioned Jeremy Bonderman and Nate Robertson, who have both been excellent this season. Bonderman is really showing that he has the stuff to be an elite pitching moving forward. His starts have been an absolute treat to watch.

Finally, I’ll just say that Joel Zumaya is the man. Hardly groundbreaking, insightful information but what more needs to be said of him and his greatness? I can’t wait to watch this team come out for the 2nd half and I look forward to seeing how they maintain and deal with their early success during the dog days of summer. I think a few moves, though maybe nothing major, are in forthcoming, but we’ll just have to see how the next 19 days play out.

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