The Tigers kick off their series today with the Mariners and there’s quite a bit of news since the Tigers played their last game. Matt Joyce has been sent down and Clete Thomas has been brought back up. In the meantime, Marcus Thames is going to get a shot at being the full time left fielder. This is something a lot of people have been waiting for as Thames is one of those guys who shows just enough flash to impress people. There’s no doubt the power is there, but it’ll be interesting to see how he does when he gets a healthy dose of right handed pitching. In 2006, Thames got a career high 348 at bats. Against right handed pitching that season, he hit .266/.335/.569 which was even better then against left handed pitching. Still, his career platoon split of over .100 points of OPS is pretty telling.
It also begs the point that with Jacque Jones gone, Thames is really all there is so you wonder why they waited even this long to make the move. I still don’t quite understand why Matt Joyce was sent down although the official excuse was that they wanted Joyce to play every day.
Jeff Larish makes his major league debut tonight. He’ll be batting seventh at the DH spot. Thames will be batting fifth and in an odd move, Miguel Cabrera has been dropped down to sixth. Brandon Inge will spell Pudge behind the plate.
Of Baseball Prospectus’ many features are their playoff odd reports. Every morning, Clay Davenport runs a simulation of the season a million times to see where everyone ends up on average. Right now, the Tigers stand just under a 10% chance of making the playoffs and they’re slotted at 77 average wins. They do a lot better in the PECOTA adjusted report, which kind of accounts for the fact that everyone thought the Tigers should be good, so they have them finally living up to their true potential. There, they still have a healthy 35% chance of making the playoffs with 85 average wins. In both, the number of wins on average to win the division was around 90-91. If the Tigers want to win 90, they’ll have to go 68-41 the rest of the way. That’s a 62% winning percentage, which no team in baseball has right now. So they’ll have to play just a bit better then the team with the best record in baseball (the Cubs at the moment), just over twice as long of a period of time.