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  1. “with which, anecdotally speaking, Tiger fans seem pleasantly surprised”

    If you expect “a bigger butcher than HH Holmes” and he’s just merely terrible, you’d still be pleasantly surprised.

    Comment by Yinka Double Dare — June 26, 2012 @ 4:43 pm

  2. Have we forgotten how Miggy suffered a broken FACE trying to play third in spring training? Tigers fans just hoped he’d be able to survive. Not only is he still upright and trotting out to the hot corner every inning, but he even fields a ball here and there, which is just gravy.

    Comment by TheWrightStache — June 26, 2012 @ 4:53 pm

  3. +1,000,000 for the HH Holmes reference

    Comment by Well-Beered Englishman — June 26, 2012 @ 5:05 pm

  4. He’s passable at third because of the bat and the defense is not attrocious. Is he Evan Longoria? No. But he’s notMark Trumbo either.

    Comment by whatever — June 26, 2012 @ 5:38 pm

  5. I think he has done quite well.(atleast compared to what mine and most expectations were) He doesn’t get to a ton of balls out of his zone but he’s gotten to 16 of them which is about middle of the pack compared to other 3B. But he has really excelled at the balls he should convert, Of the 96 balls that were labeled as being hit in his zone he has converted 91 of them, which is pretty good if you ask me. Also his DRS is “only” 0(I figured most would think he’d be way worse than that) So far I think it’s fair to say he has exceeded almost everybody’s expectations.

    Comment by Matt — June 26, 2012 @ 5:51 pm

  6. The defense is not atrocious? He looks ok at balls hit right to him but he’s a pylon on everything else. Have you not looked at his UZR??

    Comment by Michael — June 26, 2012 @ 5:57 pm

  7. I have seen many attempts at writing a full article in true late 1800s old-timey narrative style. Some brilliant attempts failed about 2/3 of the way through, most authors just can’t close the deal on a great idea. Then there is Carson. Well done, sir.

    Comment by Paul — June 26, 2012 @ 6:09 pm

  8. UZR isn’t the be all end all stat. Absrubal Cabrera had the lowest UZR at short last year yet I don’t think I ever heard any scout or baseball guy call him a pylon or atrocious defender.

    Comment by Matt — June 26, 2012 @ 6:11 pm

  9. I don’t know. By UZR he’s bad, but not THAT bad. But visually he doesn’t look very adept at 3rd base. The bigger issues are LF and 2B for the tigers, however.

    Comment by hmmm — June 26, 2012 @ 6:18 pm

  10. His UZR/150 is currently about -10 at 3B. At 1B it was around -4 or so. So sample size and all, but he loses 6 runs with the switch, but with the gain in positional adjustment he makes that back and more.

    DRS says he’s 0 right now, and from what I’ve seen I’d put him at -5 to -10. But no Tiger fans are really calling the switch a bad move, I’d say most think it has worked out and are happy to see him at 3B for the next couple seasons.

    Comment by the fume — June 26, 2012 @ 6:22 pm

  11. He killed people, those references aren’t funny.

    Comment by Antonio Bananas — June 26, 2012 @ 6:35 pm

  12. They’re not saying “boo,” they’re saying “Cistuuuuuuuuulli!”

    Comment by Robb Rowe — June 26, 2012 @ 6:36 pm

  13. 719 respondents are Miguel Cabrera’s mother.

    Comment by Coodle — June 26, 2012 @ 6:40 pm

  14. I agree that it’s an interesting point regarding whether or not Presley would have even bunted…..I kind of take maybe the reverse approach, in that as a Tiger fan I welcome opposition players to bunt and bunt. Best result for them is a single, and Fister and Verlander are excellent at holding/picking off runners so it’s not going to be a double. And Miggy’s conversion rate on bunts isn’t so low that it would ever be a problem. (And it would mean fewer balls hit between 3rd and short, which is a problem).

    Comment by the fume — June 26, 2012 @ 6:48 pm

  15. Cabrera IS a league average third baseman, or not far from it. He comes in well, has a sure glove and a plus arm, just no range. I wonder, however, about an unintended consequence of the move. He lost at least 20 pounds to become more mobile, which is admirable, BUT, I do not see as much raw power at bat. Plus the energy he puts out at third may be taken away from his focus at bat. He is NOT the hitter he has been. He’s still terriifc, just not one of the top 5 in baseball. Youkillis’ offense dived when he moved to third, too. I wonder, if moving to a more challenging defensive position often casues offensive loss. There is a SABR study here. Also, Fielder is a MUCH worse first baseman than Cabrera, plus Peralta’s lack of range is more of a negative than last year next to Inge. So over all, it is a complicated equation for Tigers fans.

    Comment by Darrell Berger — June 26, 2012 @ 6:59 pm

  16. Cabrera is very fat and lazy in terms of conditioning. He’s so out of shape that a cursory glance confirms one’s suspicions that he is terribly out of shape. He gets gassed from “running” from first to home one a double. He’s roughly 6’3″ and 265 (the official figures are usually quite generous both on height and weight). A 6’3″ man that is pretty jacked would not weigh 265 even if very muscular. He has WAY too much excess fat.

    He would be better served losing MORE weight and actually turning some of the fat into muscle. How do you get tired from standing around all day? Baseball is NOT very strenuous physically. Its very much a skill sport. One one end of the skill-physicality spectrum is golf, pretty much all skill and no conditioning required. One the other extreme is distance running and cycling, sports that require (no joke) 120+miles per week, hundreds of miles of biking per week, and very little skill.

    If Cabrera and Fielder actually got in shape, they could easily add a win or two to their WAR totals at seasons end.

    Comment by wat? — June 26, 2012 @ 8:27 pm

  17. Too soon?

    Comment by twinsfan — June 26, 2012 @ 9:23 pm

  18. Boesch is so bad it’s impressive.

    Comment by Crosseyed — June 26, 2012 @ 9:34 pm

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    Comment by Technician School — June 26, 2012 @ 11:33 pm

  20. Carson, I love your way with words, your humor, and your insights.

    Obviously Cabrera at the hot corner is not ideal. But what’s an alternative?

    Comment by Keith — June 26, 2012 @ 11:49 pm

  21. Umm, every third baseman ever gets destroyed by that ball in Spring Training that hit him in the face. Reactions aren’t Miggy’s problem; it’s mobility.

    Comment by ThePartyBird — June 27, 2012 @ 12:35 am

  22. Ummm while I agree he’s overweight, your statement that even a jacked 6-3 man couldn’t weigh 265 is just..,, wrong. Vernon David is 6’2 and weighed 260 at the combine when he was in about as good a shape as any human being in history. 265 really isn’t all that big.

    Comment by Matt — June 27, 2012 @ 6:21 am

  23. RF and 2B moreso (with the way Leyland has been aligning it recently anyways), and the problem on the left side of the infield is more the fact that it is a combination of Cabrera and Peralta.

    Comment by Nathan — June 27, 2012 @ 8:25 am

  24. Fair point. One thing Cabrera has in his favor is that he can afford to be a bit slow in getting to a bunt because he throws very hard and is generally on target.

    Comment by Nathan — June 27, 2012 @ 8:27 am

  25. Look at his offensive numbers again. The “problem” is that he set an absurdly high bar the last three seasons, that an otherwise good season this year looks crummy in relative terms. We also have over half-a-season left, so let’s see what happens. He can still easily be a .400 wOBA player. At any rate, I just wouldn’t read to much into this theory yet because we’re looking at what has amounted to an 80 game experiment… you know, sample size and all that.

    Comment by Nathan — June 27, 2012 @ 8:30 am

  26. Cabrera looks worse because Peratla is a statue at shortstop. If the tigers had a shortstop and second baseman with more range, the liabilities at first and third could be covered up. Maybe the best solution would be to move Peralta to second and install a shortstop with more range.

    Comment by Marc — June 27, 2012 @ 9:58 am

  27. Vernon Davis is an absolute physical freak. He also ran a sub 4.4 40 yard dash at that size. Baseball players are frankly not football players in terms of muscle and shouldn’t be. It would cause a lack of mobility in the chest and shoulders.

    Comment by Steve — June 27, 2012 @ 10:11 am

  28. lol no. The average third baseman knocks that ball down. The Zimmermans and Longorias field it and get the out.

    Comment by nobleisthyname — June 27, 2012 @ 10:11 am

  29. So there are at least 10-15 starting third basemen who are worse? Care to name a few? Are you saying he’s been average in 2 1/2 months according to at least one stat?

    Comment by TKDC — June 27, 2012 @ 10:38 am

  30. He has generated 2.5 WAR in less than half a season. That makes him 5-6 WAR player over a full season, most teams will take the crappy defense to get that offense. He is also a charter member of the future DH’s of America.

    Comment by Hurtlockertwo — June 27, 2012 @ 10:41 am

  31. This.

    The problem is you have both Cabrera and Peralta on the same side of the infield, and unsurprisingly, Peralta has not been able to match his offensive production of last season, so the team would look a lot better with a Jamey Carroll type in at short.

    Comment by Nathan — June 27, 2012 @ 11:19 am

  32. Which Zimmermans and Longorias? Are there now multiple 3B-playing Zimmermans and multiple 3B-playing Longorias?

    Comment by Mikey — June 27, 2012 @ 11:21 am

  33. He looks to be a 6 WAR player this season with his current production level and ZIPS projections. And we all know he is capable of having a torrid few weeks at the plate that could bump that number closer to 7 in a hurry. Even a 6 win season would still be one of his three or four best seasons and nothing alarming or out of place in his career arc.

    Comment by Nathan — June 27, 2012 @ 11:22 am

  34. No, you can stick Trumbo in the OF also and he won’t kill you. Not only can’t Cabrera play third capably, you certainly couldn’t even attempt to put him in the OF, even adjacent to Austin Jackson.

    Comment by chuckb — June 27, 2012 @ 11:48 am

  35. Creating a roster with some position players and fewer than 5 or 6 DHs?

    Comment by chuckb — June 27, 2012 @ 11:50 am

  36. people said that about Agon too, and he’s been bad but not so bad that they couldn’t put him in the OF–not sure i’d expect miggy to do much worse

    Comment by pastadiving jeter — June 27, 2012 @ 12:29 pm

  37. Agree. Asdrubal plays gold glove caliber SS. Miggy has done a decent job, I would say league avg. Watch the games people! UZR my ass

    Comment by eliasll — June 27, 2012 @ 1:04 pm

  38. There may not be 10-15 3b that are worse, but many others that are average. It’s more likely a bell curve…a few awesome on one end, a few horrible on the other with a bunch of average guys in the middle.

    Comment by Dave K — June 27, 2012 @ 1:31 pm

  39. So, who would you throw overboard? Cabrera, Fielder, or Martinez?

    Comment by rea — June 27, 2012 @ 1:45 pm

  40. Have you seen him play this year? Because he sure doesn’t look fat or lazy, and he reported this spring 20 lbs lighter than the year before.

    Comment by rea — June 27, 2012 @ 1:49 pm

  41. What’s the objective of this analysis?

    If it’s to determine if Verlander would have had a no hitter through seven innings if it weren’t for Miguel Cabrera, then I guess this is a decent way to look at it. I’m not sure how valuable that information is, but this is probably a good way to come to a conclusion.

    If the point of this is to determine if Miguel Cabrera is a bad/average/awesome third baseman, then I can’t think of a worse analysis. About 700 opinions on two plays in a single game isn’t going to answer that for us.

    That all being said, I echo other comments that Miggy has more or less been passing the eyeball test and doesn’t appear to be the disaster everyone expected, but I’m curious to see how the numbers shake out through the rest of the season.

    Comment by Dave K — June 27, 2012 @ 1:56 pm

  42. Thought he was including Bob and Eva

    Comment by rea — June 27, 2012 @ 2:41 pm

  43. I remember Adrian Beltre, he of admirable defensive ability, taking one to the nut-sack a few seasons ago. Isolated, single plays tell us nothing of significance about a defenders ability. Is Cabrera pretty bad defensively? Yes. Does getting hit in the face support that claim at all? Not really.

    Comment by KDL — June 27, 2012 @ 5:27 pm

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