Maybe Jim Tracy should be an American League manager. It seems like it would be super easy for him to put out the same lineup every game, or at least most games, if that was the case. In Detroit today, he’ll field the exact same team he did last night, and we all know how rare that is. Now, if the pencil were in my hand, I’d have benched Jason Giambi and put Tyler Colvin in at designated hitter. I know that most AL teams put their beefiest guy at DH, but that is just not a rule that must be followed. You put your best defensive team on the field, and then after you’ve done that you plug your next-best hitter in at DH. THAT IS WHAT YOU DO. FIGURE IT OUT JIM TRACY.
Please don’t read this as a criticism of Giambi. He’s a disciplined hitter, a hard worker, and a great leader in the clubhouse. But when you hit into three double plays in the same game, you are erasing more baserunners than you’re creating, and that is a problem. Also, it’s clear that the Tigers’ defense has Giambi figured out. So I’m just looking at the facts here, and the facts are that Colvin is hitting .421 with 4 home runs over the past 7 days. And yet he sits on the bench.
Jim Leyland sure knows how to shake it up, and he’s switched out a couple guys at the bottom of the order today. But the primary Tiger to keep our eyes on is Doug Fister, who returns from the disabled list today for his first start since May 28th. He was a key piece in Detroit’s rotation last season and gets a lot of the credit for their postseason run. But this year, they’ve only won one game he’s started, and that was on April 7th. How he pitches today will likely decide the outcome of the game. Our own Christian Friedrich has been just fine on the road, and he needs to continue that trend today to give his team a chance.
First pitch is 2:05 from Comerica Park in Detroit.