Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Is it all Victor Martinez's fault?

A lot of people like to tell us that the 2013 Detroit Tigers would be a much better team if Victor Martinez was a more consistent threat in the five hole. They may have a point obviously we would rather have the 2011 Victor who hit .330 then the 2013 version who is only hitting .249. I hate to break it to you but Victor isn't the real problem here. In fact the Tigers are getting a comparable amount of production of of Martinez that they did from Delmon Young who hit out of the five hole last season. The seems to suggest either the streakiness of one Prince fielder is to blame or that the blame lies later in the daily lineup, or elsewhere on the roster.

Does that sound crazy? Well thank goodness baseball has enough numbers to prove any jackass point I could ever hope to come up with. For all of 2012 Young hit .267 with 18 home runs and 74 RBI. He racked 153 hits. Much has been made of Victor's struggles at the plate in the DH role but so far in 2013 he is hitting .249 with 7 home runs and 46 RBI. He has 17 doubles in his 83 hits and since we are a little past halfway it seems reasonable to argue that Victor will come close to meeting Young's offensive production from a year ago.  A team that battled the White Sox till the last month of the season before winning the division on the way to the World Series.

It is hard for Tigers fans not to fret when Justin Verlander has struggled to live up to his and our expectations. It seems important to note that the Tigers are in first place by 2.5 games and GM Dave Dombrowski has a particular gift of finding the right move to make at the trading deadline. In fact he has done just that in each of he last two years.

In fact the tigers, under Jim Leyalnd anyways, have never played this well in the first half. They are almost always behind in the division at the all star break and in each of their two recent trips to the World Series they came down to the final weeks of the season before securing a playoff spot.

Granted, as currently constructed this does not look like a World Series caliber team but calm down. The worst thing to do in baseball is get too freaked out over any one game. Sure, JV has looked rough at times and getting blown out by the Chicago White Sox is never a good thing, but that was one game of 162. Sure sometimes games like that pile up and it is hard to keep everything separate but in the end this is a very good team that is one move away from being pretty awesome.

We could debate what that one move is but I think most of us would agree that adding a bullpen arm is the best route to take. Granted that is if Jhonny Peralta can avoid a suspension and us Tigers fans can wait to freak out over something a little more tangible.

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