Monday, June 26, 2006


With trade talks heating up about Bobby Abreu I thought I would step back and look at what Abreu would bring to the Tigers.

First he would be a left handed power bat that the team in some ways lacks. While I think this problem is lessened by the emergence of Granderson as a good all around hitter. It still is there, given that it is Guillen and Granderson batting left in the everyday lineup.

Second he would bring patience to a team that lacks that. Abreu would have the highest OBP on the team at .450 and would significantly raise the ability of this team to work the count.

Third he would get Craig Monroe out of the everyday lineup. I like Craig. He seems like a nice person but he simply is not getting it done this season.

Lets look at the likely lineup with Abreu in the order:

1. Granderson
2. Abreu
3. Rodriguez
4. Ordonez
5. Guillen
6. Thames
7. Inge
8. Shelton
9. Polanco

They might be able to convince Rodriguez or Ordonez to move down in the order. Perhaps Leyland would Abreu at 5.

Lets look at the difference in runs produced. (Assumption that Thames will level off at the .340/.510 level OBP/SLG, I also put Polanco at his career numbers because I think that his start was due to injury .344/.410)

According to lineup analysis (Baseball Musings Lineup Analysis Based on work by Cyril Morong and Ken Arneson) the current lineup without Abreu will produce 5.378 runs per game.

So lets plug the likely lineup with Abreu included, which would be 5.936 runs per game. While the gain seems insignificant at first glance, the difference is actually around 45.198 runs over the second half of the season. That would likely be worth a few extra wins.

BTW according to the site the best lineup would be:

1) Abreu
2) Ordonez
3) Guillen
4) Thames
5) Granderson
6) Inge
7) Shelton
8) Rodriguez
9) Polanco

Which would raise more than a few eyebrows but according to the site that lineup would score 6.022 runs per game.

All of this to say that picking up Abreu would help this year. I personally believe that Abreu has the type of skill (great patience) to be productive throughout the rest of his contract. Perhaps not up to 16 million dollars worth but that is another debate altogether.

So depending on the cost to trade for him it would be a good move to make. I am not sure if they will need to deal Sanchez for him but if you believe that Abreu would be enough to push the team over the top then it probably would be.

BTW the lineup analysis site is:


Eddie B said...

Such and impact tells me that maybe it is worth it to give up a Humberto Sanchez to get his bat in the lineup. A team with Bobby Abreu in Craig Monroe's place would just be all-out unstoppable.

Mat said...

If Abreu were to be added to the lineup, I think Leyland would be more likely to alternate the LH and RH hitters, to force more favorable matchups when specialty relievers come in during the late innings.

I think a more likely lineup would be:

1. Granderson - L
2. Polanco - R
3. Abreu - L
4. Ordonez - R
5. Guillen - S
6. Rodriguez - R
7. Thames - R
8. Shelton - R
9. Inge - R

I doubt there would be any set-in-stone lineup. If Thames keeps hitting they might put him at the 5 spot and drop Guillen lower.

I'm just sceptical that with so few lefties the tigers would bat Granderson and Abreu consecutively. Too easy for a lefty specialist to come in and face consecutive batters hitting from the same side.

Another feasible option: Perhaps Pudge moves back into the 2 hole where he was so succesful with Texas:

1. Granderson - L
2. Rodriguez - R
3. Abreu - L
4. Ordonez - R
5. Thames - R
6. Guillen - S
7. Shelton - R
8. Inge - R
9. Polanco - R

Brian B said...

Well I went with the most feasible lineup that would include Abreu at the top.

I just don't see Leyland knocking Ivan out of the three hole for any hitter. If he did I would be proven wrong. Polanco is more movable in my opinion.

I wouldn't mind it they did knock Ivan down for someone like Abreu...

I don't worry about stacking lefties or not stacking lefties. I just worry about having the best hitters in locations where they will be the most usable to the team.

Personally going with my trend of having the best hitters in the best locations if we are talking about knocking Ivan out of 3 would be your second option... However given the OBP's I am not sure that Ivan should be considered that high in the lineup.

My personal ideal that I didn't list (including Abreu would be):

1. Granderson L
2. Thames R
3. Abreu L
4. Ordonez R
5. Guillen S
6. Inge R
7. Rodriguez R
8. Shelton R
9. Polanco R

But I don't see that lineup happening.

Mat said...

A lot of baseball people would argue that lineup position doesn't make much of a difference beyond the first one or two guys.

Not stacking the lineup is one of the few things a manager can do with a lineup to really impact the game. I think its one of the most critical aspects of a lineup.

I like the last lineup Brian B posted, except I'd bat Inge at 8 and move Shelton up.

Then again, personally, I'd bench Inge - put him back into the supersub role, move guillen to 3rd and bring Infante into the lineup at SS. I know Inge is hitting some HRs but that should tail off and his career average is miserable. I like Infante's potential much more...