Tigers trading offense for defense

April, 10, 2009
4/10/09
11:32
AM ET
Thursday afternoon's Jays-Tigers game featured two starters making their major league debuts, and it was mildly surprising when Toronto's No. 8 prospect out-pitched Detroit's No. 1 prospect. Really, though, was it any wonder that Ricky Romero looked so good? The Tiger lineup yesterday featured the following hitters, Nos. 6 through 9:

Brandon Inge -- .304 OBP (career)
Matt Treanor -- .321
Ramon Santiago -- .310
Adam Everett -- .297

And then there's No. 2 hitter Marcus Thames, whose .302 career on-base percentage fits in nicely with those other fellows'. Granted, it was getaway day and Treanor and Santiago are hardly regulars, but still. There is a tradeoff, usually. Management decided to bolster the defense this season, and that decision is highly defensible. I like Everett. And if the Indians don't get it together soon, the Tigers will quickly become the default favorite in the American League Central. But those Tigers who scored almost 900 runs in 2007 and were supposed to score 1,000 runs in 2008?

Those Tigers are gone. It doesn't mean these Tigers can't win, though.

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