Detroit Tigers: Sagging offense, five questions, Anthony Gose lucky


The Detroit Tigers scored four runs in their just completed series against the Oakland Athletics–four runs!

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While the glass half-full side of me wants to embrace the notion that “hey, they took two of three games in a series and only scored four runs,” while the half-empty side screams out “but it was the freakin’ Oakland A’s!!!”

Indeed the once-again rebuilding Oakland franchise is again terrible, so we might be getting to the point where we can no longer say “this offense will come around” to acknowledging that “this offense is just not that good.”

Of course the stat heads will point to Detroit’s .276 average (second to Kansas City in the AL), .759 OPS (second to Toronto in the AL) and a league leading 444 hits as a sign that they are not that bad, but let’s not forget how amazing the offense was in the season’s first week which has helped to pad their stats a bit.

But they don’t seem to pass the smell test on a day-to-day basis of watching this team, do they?

One of the biggest culprits for the offensive foibles has been the double-plays. As you see from the stats above, the Tigers are getting on base, but they’ve often been wiped out by a baseball worst 51 twin-killings (and one triple play). They did not hit into any on Wednesday afternoon in Oakland, but when you look at all three games, they really had only two big swings. One which drove home a run on a sac fly in the first inning on Tuesday and the three-run homer by Yoenis Cespedes on Wednesday.

So it would stand to reason that a couple of the nagging questions for the Detroit Tigers the rest of the season would relate to the offense. Brad Faber explores this.

Finally, one of the hitters that has really been a spark in a punchless lineup has been Anthony Gose. He gets consistent hits, surprise teams with bunts and beats out infield hits. In other words, he is doing things on his own to get on base. Sadly one writer doesn’t see it this way and instead of seeing Gose as being opportunistic and doing everything he should be doing to reach base, he sees him as being “lucky.”

Uh okay, pal. Do MCB readers agree?

Detroit Tigers’ struggling offense continues to be haunted by rally-killing double plays – James Schmehl, MLive

"“It happens,” Tigers outfielder Tyler Collins said Monday. “Every year, something freaky is going to happen, and ours — right now — is hitting into double plays.”What Collins said is partially true. They’re just running into bad luck. The Tigers are built to hit balls hard. They’re also built to get on base, which they do at a better rate than any other team in baseball. Therefore, there’s more opportunities for them hit into double plays.Detroit’s lineup is also heavy with right-handed sluggers — such as Cabrera, Martinez and Cespedes — who hit the ball hard. So they’re going to hit into their fair share of double plays — particularly when they face right-handed sinkerballers."

Detroit Tigers’ 5 Biggest Questions Going Forward In 2015 – Brad Faber, Rant Sports

"After enjoying a career year in 2014, the Tigers re-signed designated hitter Victor Martinez to a four-year, $68 million deal this past November. In February, however, Martinez injured the same knee that caused him to miss the entire 2012 season, and he consequently needed another surgery. The 36-year-old got off to a very slow start this year, and he is now on the 15-day DL with inflammation in his knee. V-Mart remains a vital part of the Tigers’ offense, so hopefully he can start hitting again once he is ready to return to the lineup."

Writer: Tigers’ Gose is luckiest hitter in baseball – Steve Schrader, Detroit Free Press

"Casella writes: “Gose has been a revelation of sorts for the Tigers in running away with the club’s everyday leadoff role. He entered Tuesday hitting .338 overall, having started 16 of Detroit’s last 17 games atop the order after sharing time with Rajai Davis to begin the year. The Tigers might not get this type of production from Gose all season, considering he’s benefited from a Major League-best .463 BABIP to this point. Keep in mind that no active player has ever finished with a BABIP above even .400, let alone anywhere near Gose’s current mark. The highest single-season BABIP recorded by any active player is Ichiro Suzuki‘s .399 mark in 2004, when he finished with a major league record 262 hits.”In other words, things are bound to even out for Gose. That’s baseball.Casella’s unluckiest player is New York Yankees infielder Stephen Drew, who’s hitting .177 with a BABIP of .186. But he admits: “The fact that Drew could be on his way to a second straight sub-.200 BABIP season suggests his shortcomings at the plate have far more to do with a lack of making solid contact than any type of misfortune.”"

Next: Tigers spiraling toward mediocrity