By: Mike Stone
The Detroit Tigers need help, and not just in the bullpen. While all the attention has been focused on the problems of Jose Valverde, Phil Coke, and Bruce Rondon, the problematic offense had been overlooked. It cannot any longer.
The statistics of this offense are absurd, as you can see in this report from CBS Detroit’s Ashley Dunkak. Yes, the Tigers lead the major leagues in batting average, are second in OPS and tied for third in runs scored, but their situational numbers are pathetic. If you have watched them this season you would not be surprised to learn that the statistics back up the eye test, especially late in games.
After the sixth inning, the Tigers are hitting .227, which is 28th in the major leagues. Their OPS is also 28th and only the Seattle Mariners have scored less runs than the Tigers total of 80. Even Miguel Cabrera is not immune to late inning failures. As Chris Iott of MLive.com points out, Miggy, who hits .422 the first six innings with an amazing 1.283 OPS, has his batting average drop to a rudimentary .258 after the sixth. Amazingly that is second best on the team. To say this team has been unclutch is an understatement. They are 2-10 in games that are tied heading into the ninth and 2-22 when they trail after eight innings.
It is incumbent for the Tigers to find another bat that can actually come through with timely hits, preferably a left hander. If General Manager Dave Dombrowski can’t find someone, he should at least give Nick Castellanos a shot. He could not do any worse than Andy Dirks has lately. This team has too much to lose, by having a team that fails too often when the game is on the line. And no, they should not forget about the bullpen. Relievers like Francisco Rodriguez and Jesse Crain can be had for the right price. There are 30 days until the non-waiver trade deadline. Come on Dave it’s time for you to pull another Fister, Sanchez, or Infante out of your hat, but please no Washburn or Huff.