While two of the Detroit Tigers‘ power hitters are on the disabled list, two unexpectedly hot hitters have taken their places.
However, when the two Detroit Tigers Silver Sluggers get back to the team, two spots on the 25-man roster will need to open up for them.
John Hicks and Jim Adduci have been tearing up opposing pitchers while Miguel Cabrera and J.D. Martinez have been recovering from their injuries. Hicks has hit safely in all seven games in which he has played. And, Adduci has hit in four of his six games.
How Hicks & Adduci Got to Detroit
Of course, Hick and Adduci are not Miguel Cabrera or J.D. Martinez, but the pair is doing serious damage on offense. And, they are making plays on defense. Along with Alex Avila, these two men are the only players on the team with OPS stats above 1.000 and batting averages at or above .400.
If they can keep up numbers like these, then Al Avila needs to figure out how to keep the pair on the 25-man roster.
Hicks made his 2017 debut on April 22 when Cabrera went on the DL and Adduci joined the team the following day when JaCoby Jones went on the list. Between Hicks and Adduci, they have crossed home plate 11 times and earned 10 RBIs. During the past week, Hicks had the same number of hits as Nicholas Castellanos, but with seven fewer at-bats. Adduci has the same number of hits as Ian Kinsler and Victor Martinez, but with 11 fewer at-bats than Kinsler and 8 fewer than Martinez.
Clutch Players at the Plate
Not only have Adduci and Hicks been consistent at the plate, the pair has come through in clutch situations. On April 29 in the 9th inning against the Chicago White Sox, Hicks scored the tying run on an Alex Avila RBI. After Victor Martinez hit his first home run of the season and brought the Tigers within one run, Justin Upton struck out. On his very first pitch, Hicks hit a screaming line drive to left field for a double. Then, Avila pinch hit for James McCann and hit a clutch single to right field that allowed Hicks to cross the plate. Avila was then replaced by Jim Adduci on the bases. With Hicks being the third catcher on the team, Brad Ausmus was able to get creative with pinch hitters and runners. And, Adduci has speed and a left-handed bat, adding some extra athleticism to the team.
Where Were They Before Detroit?
The last time that Adduci played in the MLB was 2014 when he played in 44 games with the Texas Rangers. Since then, he has played in several overseas leagues as well as on many minor league teams. Including his time in Detroit, Adduci has career stats of .284/.355/.403 with an OPS of .758.
John Hicks made his minor league debut in 2011 when he was drafted by the Seattle Mariners. He moved around through their minor league system and played in a few games with the Mariners before the Tigers snapped him up in 2016. Hicks played in one game in Detroit last season. He was in Toledo prior to Cabrera’s injury and with the Mud Hens, Hicks was batting .424/.412/.606 with an OPS of 1.018 in his 33 at-bats in 10 games. His stats are pretty close to that right now in Detroit.
Keeping Them on the Roster
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Adduci and Hicks will never be Miguel Cabrera, even though their numbers at this time are better than the Triple Crown winner’s numbers. But, if they keep playing with the gusto that they have been showing, it would be wise to keep them in Detroit. And, the solution is easier than it seems it would be.
All the Tigers would need to do is move two of the lowest performing players down to Detroit. One of those could be Mikie Mahtook and the other could be Joe Jimenez. Both can easily be moved back and forth, just like Hicks and Adduci can. Another player that the Tigers could do without at this time is Dixon Machado who has not looked like a major leaguer at any time in April. Of course, he would have to be put on waivers, but his skills would most likely not draw the attention of any other teams. If another team wanted him, then so be it. JaCoby Jones can also play a mean shortstop.
Hopefully, the hot-hitting pair, Hicks and Adduci, will get to stay in Detroit for as long as they are earning their keep.