With the off day, I took some time to flip through some of the Tigers numbers. With the season being just two and a half weeks old, it’s hard to rely too much on these because of the sample sizes but they’re interesting to look at none the less.
While Carlos Guillen is hitting only .255, he leads the team with 12 walks for an impressive OBP of .388. Oddly, he’s done it with a team low (tied with Sean Casey) pitches per plate appearance of 3.4. So he’s either swinging away early and putting the ball in play or picking up the walk. Just as odd is the team leader, Craig Monroe, who averages 4.7 pitches per plate appearance. Since Monroe leads the team in strikeouts, is he being too selective or is he just getting down in the count and fouling a couple of pitches off before going down? I’ll have to keep an eye out next game to see which is the case.
We all know Gary Sheffield has struggled and his batting average (.132) reflects that. What’s really odd is how bad he’s been against left handed pitching. In ten at bats, he doesn’t have a single hit yet and this is a career .313 hitter against left handed pitching. If I were a betting man, if the over/under on Shefs batting average were .270 overall, I’d take the over. I have a feeling that when he hits out of this slump, it’ll be in a big way.
Craig Monroe is tied for the team lead with 11 RBIs yet he’s hitting just .212. That bodes well for when he finally heats up. You wonder if this is the year that Craig racks up 100 RBIs. He has to work on the strikeouts though (18 strikeouts versus three walks), although like I said above, he’s working the pitcher for 4.7 pitches per plate appearance so at least when he goes down, he’s making the pitcher work.
Just a couple of quick last things. Nate Robertson has gotten off to a good start but oddly, he’s had a hard time against lefties who have hit .316 against him. Last year, he held lefties to a minscule .181 batting average so you wonder how good he’ll be once he starts getting that lefty batting average against down. Fernando Rodney has a 2.31 WHIP and a .350 batting average versus right handed hitters. I guess just looking at that, we can’t be too surprised by his 1-3 start.