Ramon Santiago Gets No Love From Leyland

The Tigers are all set to battle the Arizona Diamondbacks this evening at Comerica Park. Awaiting them when they step into the batter’s box will be none other than former Tiger (and former good pitcher) Dontrelle Willis.

Willis was traded to the D-backs two weeks ago after being designated for assignment by the Tigers. Detroit is still paying Willis the overwhelming majority of his money this year, so hopefully he feels the need to repay the organization by being his usual generous self, and handing out free bases to a whole bunch of Tigers.

The Tigers lineup was released this afternoon, while I was being bombarded on twitter by a couple of fine Tigers writers who have much stronger feelings about soccer than I do. It is as follows (after the jump).

That’s correct, there is no mention of Ramon Santiago. Santiago, a switch-hitter, racked up a career-high four hits in yesterday’s game. How does his manager respond to such a big day? By returning Santiago to the bench today in favor of Worth, who happens to be 1-for-16 since being recalled. Good move, Jimmy.

Another missing name once again is that of Austin Jackson. Jackson hasn’t seen the field since Sunday, missing the past six games due to back spasms. Sure seems like it must be more serious than the Tigers are letting on.

Regardless of who is or isn’t playing tonight, the Tigers that do face Willis must do so with an extreme amount of patience. We’ve seen too many times over the past few seasons that Willis will walk you if you let him. He has walked 10 batters in his 10 innings since joining the D-backs, including six in four frames in his last start.

Sure, he can be tough to hit when he’s around the plate, but more often than not, he falls behind. Let him walk you, he will.

Galarraga, on the other hand, has been quite good since taking over for Willis in the Tigers rotation. In his last three starts, Galarraga has worked 21.2 innings and allowed just four runs and 14 hits.

Galarraga is pitching with a strong sense of confidence since being given a starting job. It’s easy to recall how terribly ineffective he was for most of 2009, but in the first month of that season he was the Tigers best pitcher, just as he had been in 2008.

If he can maintain his confidence, there’s no reason to think he cannot become again what he was. Here’s hoping.

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Tags: Arizona Diamondbacks Armando Galarraga Austin Jackson Detroit Tigers Dontrelle Willis Ramon Santiago

  • http://www.motorcitybengals.com Matt Snyder

    I would also like to see Ramon in the lineup, but just because he’s a better player, not because he had four hits yesterday.

    • http://motorcitybengals.com John Parent

      Agreed. Santiago is the far superior player of the two. I had hoped that when Everett was DFA’d it would be that Santiago was taking over and Worth would be sprinkled in. I guess it’s the other way around.

      • Bryan

        Santiago is what he is – a role player. Remember when he was getting sprinkled playing time with Everett getting the most starts his avg was around .300 – Once he started playing almost every game with Everett’s injury he dropped to around .250 – I love him at the role he plays

        • http://motorcitybengals.com John Parent

          Bryan- I’m not saying Ramon should be the everyday guy long-term, but even at his worst he’s a better hitter than Worth. The Tigers need to look outside the organization for a solution, no question. Ryan Theriot and Stephen Drew come to mind…

        • http://www.motorcitybengals.com Matt Snyder

          I’m not sure I buy into the notion that guys can play better in limited playing time. It’s something you hear about with Laird and Santiago especially, but with the small sample sizes that limited playing time always comes with it’s impossible to tell randomness from true talent level.

  • Chris

    Leyland makes sure everyone on the 25 sees playing time, even (or especially) if they are slumping, and especially rookies. That’s his managerial style. Say what you will about his lineup decision on any given game, or any given matchup, but I think his approach pays dividends over time compared to someone like Dusty Baker.

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