The Detroit Tigers pulled out a 5-2 extra innings victory over the Kansas City Royals on Sunday afternoon all thanks to a three-run walk-off HR from Brandon Dixon in the tenth inning.
It seems safe to say that the Detroit Tigers would not have been able to pull off Sunday’s big win over KC without the help of Brandon Dixon. Not only did he crush his first deep shot of the season to give the Tigers a walk-off victory, but he also made a spectacular diving catch in left field that robbed the Royals’ Alex Gordon of what would have been an extra-base hit in the top of the tenth.
Plays like that show that Dixon is more than capable as a utility man out in the field. Since making his first appearance of the season for Detroit on April 21st, manager Ron Gardenhire has used the 27-year-old at first base, left field, and DH. Dixon has appeared in nine games for the Detroit Tigers in 2019 and had quite an impact in a few of those games, which shows that a bit more consistency at the plate could go a long way in guaranteeing him a daily lineup spot.
Sunday was not Dixon’s first three-RBI performance of the season. Back on April 23rd, in just his second game of the season, Dixon brought in three runs on a bases-clearing double at Fenway Park to help boost Detroit to a 4-2 victory over the Red Sox. Between that game and Sunday, however, Dixon failed to record an RBI in five games and had only one hit in that stretch.
In his nine games this year, Brandon Dixon has been a starter in six and served as a pinch hitter in the other three, including on Sunday. He was also a starter in four of those five previously mentioned games in which he had only one hit. This shows that Ron Gardenhire has some faith that Dixon has the capability to be a staple in the lineup.
It seems that Dixon will remain in the lineup for the foreseeable future at least until Christin Stewart returns from injury. With Stewart ready to start a rehab stint in Lakeland, time for Dixon to prove his worth is becoming shorter. Consistency at the plate is a massive key if Brandon Dixon wants to show he is worthy of a regular lineup spot even after Stewart returns.
Dixon has the ability to make big plays both in the field and at the plate. Finding a way to channel that ability on a more consistent basis should prove to Ron Gardenhire that Dixon holds value to the lineup. A possibility could be having Dixon start at first base once Stewart returns to Detroit and can take back over in left field, which would move Miguel Cabrera more permanently into the DH spot.
Brandon Dixon’s flashes of greatness this season have made him a more well-known name amongst Tigers fans, but those moments have been few and far between. If Dixon can find some consistency in his bat, it should be enough to prove that he is worthy of a regular spot in Detroit’s starting lineup.
The Detroit Tigers get a day of rest on Monday as they prepare to host the Angels at Comerica Park for a three-game series beginning Tuesday.