June 19, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers left fielder Matt Tuiasosopo (18) hits an two RBI double in the sixth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
It’s no surprise that it’s Garcia that’s being pushed aside to make room. He needs everyday at bats to continue his development against advanced pitching, but he’s not able to get those in the big leagues. Garcia has accumulated 88 major league plate appearances this year, managing a batting line of just .241/.273/.373. It wouldn’t be altogether surprising, however, if he’s back in the majors in time to be added to the postseason roster.
The Tigers are undoubtedly hoping that Tuiasosopo’s return will provide a boost to the left field position that had been languishing at the plate in his absence, but I remain skeptical that Tui can continue to hit at a pace anywhere near his year-to-date numbers. He doesn’t have a history of hitting at the big league level, and even his career AAA hitting hasn’t been tremendous. In a pure rate stat sense, the only Tigers hitter who has been better is Miguel Cabrera. He (i.e. Tuiasosopo) won’t continue to hit like that. ZiPS and Steamer — two projection systems that put out continuously updating “rest of season” projections — agree with my skepticism. They project respective wRC+ lines of 82 and 90 — decidedly below average.
His hitting might not fall off that much, but we have every reason to expect a large regression and pretty much no reason to expect a repeat of his previous success.