Tagged: Hot Stove

Lefty, Anyone?

For the first time in over a decade, the Detroit Tigers are going into the July 31 trade deadline looking to buy – not sell. You could even go as far as to say they are looking for the one player to put them over the top. If you ask almost any fan in Motown what the most pressing need is, the number one response will be a left-handed bat. My question – and rightly so – is why? If you look at the numbers (which, according to the old saying, never lie), a left-handed hitter is not the top priority.

71606Through the seasons first ninety games (in which the team was 61-29), the overall batting average was .275, good for tenth-best in all of baseball. Now contrary to peoples opinions on Detroit’s lineup, which features 7 righties, 1 lefty (CF Curtis Granderson), and 1 switch-hitter (SS Carlos Guillen), the Tigers have hit right-handers to a tune of .283 (7th best in MLB). Compare that to a .253 average verses southpaws (22nd). Only one regular, Pudge Rodriguez (.352) and Chris Shelton (.289)  hit lefties at a rate of .257 or better.

It then makes since that the Tigers should go after Nationals OF Alfonso Soriano, if they truly are searching for another bat. Soriano is a .330 hitter against LHP, and would fit anywhere in the batting order. Sure, we could debate who to trade, at what value, for what its worth, etc.

So throw out the talk about Bobby Abreu, Jeromy Burnitz, and Matt Stairs. Although its certain Detroit cannot stay pat at the deadline, there is a more important piece to the puzzle to be added, but that’s for another day…

Until then, look for the fastball, but don’t miss the Hanging Curve (next post July 18)…