June 3, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers right fielder Brennan Boesch (26) throws to first to get New York Yankees right fielder Nick Swisher (not pictured) out during the eighth inning at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

Boesch Costs Team Game


Brennan Boeschs bumbled catch against the Indians last night turned out to give the Tribe three runs. He also went 0-4, now 1 for his last 23. Is it time for Boesch to join Ryan Raburn in Toledo?

I’m not, of course, suggesting that Brennan Boesch is irredeemable or that the Tigers should let him go. But… Boesch has been a net negative on both ends of the game this year. His OPS has fallen below .600 – not good enough for a middle infielder, much less a corner outfielder – and by the numbers he has been one of the worst defensive outfielders in all of baseball over the past two months. The Tigers aren’t going to simply force Boesch to ride the pine – that isn’t how you break out of slumps or get your head back where it needs to be – but he is hurting the team by being on that lineup card every single day.

He has options, so the only real reason not to send Boesch down for a spell would be the lack of depth in the outfield resulting from injuries to Austin Jackson and Andy Dirks. It looks like Jackson, at least, is about to go on a rehab stint in Toledo and should be back shortly. The Tigers do have Don Kelly, Quintin Berry and now the overmatched Matt Young available to play in the outfield in addition to Delmon Young (who, in a perfect world, doesn’t play in the field). Don Kelly still has a genuinely golden glove, though he obviously hasn’t been hitting either. If he and Boesch are going to provide the same offense, replacing Boesch with Kelly provides a pretty big boost defensively. You could even argue that – had anyone guessed that Boesch would be playing like this in the field – Kelly might have been the better option all along, even if Boesch had done the expected things with the bat. Starting Young in his stead would not, it seems, hurt team defense (ugh) but unlike Boesch Delmon Young has lately begun to hit – if not exactly to rake – but since the start of May Young has done roughly what was expected of him all along. That’s not to say that amazing things were expected of Young, but a positive WAR definitely was. I’m not Delmon Young’s hugest fan but he does look like a better everyday option than Boesch, as does Kelly as I mentioned above.

Let him get things straightened out somewhere other than Detroit, that’s my view. Above all else, don’t call him up until he shows some polish in the field…

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