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Written by Matt Snyder | 31 August 2012

JeffBakerCubsLet’s all hope the two players-to-be-named-later that the Tigers sent to the Chicago Cubs end up being a bunch of nobodies because the Tigers have decided to part ways with recently-acquired platoon man Jeff Baker after just 15 games and 37 (abysmal) plate appearances. Baker was brought in to hit against left-handed pitching, but he managed a terrible .185/.231/.416 line in that capacity as a member of the Tigers.

It’s an incredibly small sample size of course, and he most certainly would hit better than that going forward, but the club has apparently decided to “shake things up a bit” with a move. Replacing Baker on the active roster will be top outfield prospect (unless you consider Nick Castellanos to now be an outfield prospect) Avisail Garcia.

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Written by Matt Snyder | 31 August 2012

JhonnyPeraltaLynn Henning had a column up on The Detroit News yesterday about the likely roster turnover we can expect between this year and next. It’s actually a good piece in its simplicity – just a list of players with a short blurb on each – but it does a nice job of showing just how different next year’s squad may be.

I suggest reading the full piece if you haven’t already, but here’s the list of guys he’s says won’t be back:

Jose Valverde, RP

Jhonny Peralta, SS

Jeff Baker, IF/OF

Ryan Raburn, IF/OF

Brennan Boesch, OF

Quintin Berry, OF

Delmon Young, OF/DH

Anibal Sanchez, SP

Phil Coke, RP

Ramon Santiago, IF

I think the list is sound in a general sense, although we could nitpick about the roles of Santiago, Boesch, and Berry, but I do have one major gripe and it’s about Peralta being included on this list. In fairness to Henning, he’s not suggesting that the Tigers walk away from Peralta, but he advocates that trading him might help to plug holes elsewhere (namely defensive holes). Here’s what he says about him:

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Written by Matt Snyder | 28 August 2012

MiguelCabrera2Miguel Cabrera was given the afternoon off on Sunday to help heal his injured ankle that forced him to exit Thursday’s game early and serve as the team’s designated hitter on Friday and Saturday. The hope was that pairing the break on Sunday with the scheduled off-day on Monday would allow him to return to full action this week.

It appears the strategy worked, as Cabrera will rejoin the team both in the lineup and in the field tonight.

Here’s the lineup for Tuesday’s 8:00 PM (ET) series opener versus the Kansas City Royals. (via Brian Britten, director of media relations for the Tigers).

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Written by Matt Snyder | 26 August 2012

DelmonYoungDelmon Young homered in the sixth inning of Sunday’s game against the Angels to provide a bit of extra insurance in the eventual 5-2 win. The homer, along with an earlier double, gave Young four extra base hits in the last two games. With Miguel Cabrera hobbled for the series (and out completely on Sunday) the extra thump in the lineup was greatly appreciated.

But Delmon’s hot bat hasn’t been limited to just these two games against the Angels, he’s been on a relative tear for the entire month of August. Here’s his line (in 86 plate appearances): .309/.337/.506. His walk rate still hasn’t been any good (just 3.4%), but his strikeout rate has been low (9.3%, about half of his career rate) and he’s actually been driving the ball. Young has made a career out of people mistaking him for a power hitter (his career isolated power is only .139), but he’s been true slugger for the month with an ISO just shy of .200.

If this is what Delmon could be, he’d be a valuable hitter, even at the DH position. Now, I’m well past the point of believing that he will suddenly morph into a plus bat, but it wouldn’t take a boost in BABIP or HR/FB rate to do it – he has the necessary hitting tools already – but what it would take is an adjustment in either his walk or strikeout rates.

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Written by Matt Snyder | 26 August 2012

The Detroit Tigers defeated the Los Angeles Angels 5-2 on Sunday afternoon behind a fantastic pitching effort by Max Scherzer, and a power display by the middle of the order. Here are the highlights:

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Written by Matt Snyder | 26 August 2012

JimLeylandLineupCardThe Detroit Tigers defeated the Los Angeles Angels 5-2 on Sunday afternoon to take the series two games to one. The Tigers hold a 4-2 season series record versus the Angels with three games left to play (in Anaheim in two weeks).

The Tigers are currently competing with five teams for playoff positioning as we turn to the home stretch of the season. The Chicago White Sox are the obvious competition, they lead the AL Central by a couple of games, but they’re also battling it out with the Tampa Bay Rays, the Oakland Athletics, the Baltimore Orioles, and the Angels for a potential Wild Card berth (should it come to that).

Detroit has put up a strong showing versus that collective group with a 21-13 combined record (they’re even or better versus each of the five teams).

Detroit’s remaining schedule should be one of the easier in baseball, and should provide every opportunity for the team to show they deserve a spot in October. Here’s the breakdown of their 35 remaining games (in order of my perceived playoff relevance):

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Written by Matt Snyder | 26 August 2012

CabreraPeavyThe lineups have been announced for the Detroit Tigers’ Sunday matinee versus the Los Angeles Angels and Miguel Cabrera’s name is missing for the first time all year. MLive’s Chris Iott makes the announcement:

Cabrera is not in the starting lineup for the game today against the Los Angeles Angels. He has started each of the first 126 games this season, but he has been battling a right ankle injury that forced him out of the game early Thursday.

The ankle must not have affected him too much at the plate – he had two extra base hits and a 1.000 OPS in two games as the team’s DH – but he wasn’t healthy enough to play in the field, and the team could really use Miguel Cabrera at 100% down the stretch.

With Cabrera out of the lineup, Delmon Young will shift back to DH, and Jeff Baker will remain at the hot corner. Andy Dirks will start in the outfield and bat third.

Matt  Snyder writes about Baseball, Football, and College Basketball. He can be found online as the creator and editor of Forever Faithful, the editor of The Tigers Den, a contributor to Call To The Pen, and a contributor to SideLion Report. He can be reached on Twitter @snyder_matthew.

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