A big reason why the Tigers’ offense struggled in the American League Division Series was because their lead-off batter, Austin Jackson, struggled to get on base. Jackson finished the series batting .100 (2-20) with 13 strikeouts and one walk, hardly good numbers for any slot in the lineup.
Many have suggested that Jackson be dropped in the lineup in favor of more productive players, like Omar Infante, who hit .319 in September.
What most people have overlooked is the numbers Jackson put up against the Boston Red Sox this season: .478 (11-23) and seven runs scored with three walks and six strikeouts. 97.1 The Ticket’s Mike Valenti and Terry Foster say they are open to anything that helps the team win.
“I wouldn’t hate it, the only problem is that his numbers are good against Boston,” Valenti said on his radio show Friday. “You don’t know if he’s just in a slump or it was the pitchers he was facing, but what I’d like to see Victor Martinez and Prince Fielder switched in the lineup.”
“If you move him to the number nine spot and he starts hitting at the bottom of the lineup, then it’s like having two lead-off men,” Foster added
Jim Leyland has shown that he isn’t afraid to switch his lineup around, putting Jhonny Peralta back at his natural position of shortstop at the expense of Jose Iglesias in the decisive Game 5.
Should Jackson be dropped in the lineup? Do his numbers against Boston justify keeping him in the lead-off position?
Let us know in the comments below.
- Struggling In The Series, Austin Jackson Redeems Himself With Clutch Hit (detroit.cbslocal.com)