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With Sheffield Gone, The Tigers Need a New Gameplan

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sheffield

-AP Photo

Gary Sheffield has been released by the Detroit Tigers.  This move is surprising because it means that the Tigers will have to pay him $14 million in salary this season and obviously will get absolutely nothing in return.  At the same time, the news is not surprising because Sheffield is rarely good anymore.  This is a great move because it will allow the Tigers to have much more flexibility in the field.  Specifically, the move allows improvement at first base, designated hitter and in left field.  Here’s what the Tigers need to do:

Carlos Guillen: The plan was to start Guillen in left field this season.  However, he’s been an infielder his whole major league career.  Why make a change now?  Guillen is comfortable in the infield and has had success in the past at first base.  That’s where he needs to be this season.

Miguel Cabrera: Miguel is one of the worst defensive players on the entire roster.  He’s also one of the best offensive players on the roster.  The Tigers can utilize his strength while not suffering from his weaknesses if they use him as a DH.

Josh Anderson: The Tigers acquired Josh Anderson from the Atlanta Braves yesterday.  He’s a speedy outfielder with decent hitting skills.  The Tigers need to start him in left field.

Marcus Thames:  Marcus has been a backup for the duration of his career in Detroit.  That probably won’t change this season.  Thames could sub for any of these three players at any of the three positions.  He has playing experience in the outfield as well as at first base. By rotating Thames between LF, 1B and DH the Tigers can keep everyone well rested while keeping offensive and defensive production high.

I hope Jim Leyland is reading this…

Written by bckersey

March 31, 2009 at 4:22 pm

Posted in Tigers