By: Scott Anderson
People sure are getting bent out of shape about a certain Tiger, and it’s not Ryan Raburn. No, this Tiger is being showered with love and adoration in what appears to be at the precipice of raging storm proportions. Quintin Berry has become the new Brandon Inge.
It’s amazing how it happens, but it has happened. Those that love Berry have been extremely vocal as of late, clamoring for the rookie outfielder to find a spot in the starting lineup every night. This is not unlike the rise in popularity that Inge received once it appeared that his starting days were a thing of the past after the acquisition of Miguel Cabrera. My fear is that this popularity will turn Q into the next most divisive player in Detroit.
Berry started off great as a replacement for the injured Austin Jackson, and after Ajax came back, Berry stayed in the lineup due to Andy Dirks’ injury. Make no mistake about it, Berry EARNED his starts with some clutch hitting and base thefts. But, when Dirks returned, Berry found himself as the odd man out as his bat cooled while Brennan Boesch’s bat heated up.
Over the last month or so, Berry has not found himself on the base paths nor the lineup card all that often, which has led to this recent groundswell of support from the fans. We have become intoxicated with his speed even though his batting average has slipped significantly. The Tigers don’t have a controversy here regarding the Right Field position, what they have now is an open competition against right handed pitching. Neither Boesch nor Berry has lit up lefties (nor has Dirks, but he’s been the best of the bunch) so until we see some separation, the battle will continue to be waged on the airwaves as to whom should start.