Delmon Young’s Absence Won’t Be A Big Deal

When the Tigers turned in their roster for the ALCS, there was one major change – Delmon Young (strained oblique) was out and Danny Worth was in, so Detroit will have to go forward without their starting left fielder. While losing any player off your roster at this time of year isn’t good news, Young’s loss probably won’t make much of a difference in the outcome of the series.

Young performed well for Detroit in their ALDS win over the Yankees, but in reality, he’s a pretty mediocre player. Even after being acquired by Detroit, Young hit just .274/.298/.458 during the regular seson, good for a 101 wRC+. Essentially, he was a league average hitter, and that’s only if you ignore the disaster that was his 2011 season in Minnesota.

Young’s true talent level is probably closer to his Detroit performance than his Minnesota performance, as he showed some power in 2010 and does have some undeniable athletic ability, but even at his peak, he’s an overly aggressive hitter who hits a lot of ground balls and is a mediocre fielder at best. He can be useful when he drives the ball regularly – as he did against the Yankees – but when he’s not hitting the ball out of the ballpark, he’s basically useless.

Of course, everything we just said about Young is also true of Ryan Raburn. He’s also an overly aggressive right-handed hitter who relies on his power to provide value, and while UZR thinks he’s okay defensively, Tigers fans consistently rate him as a liability with the glove. How similar are Young and Raburn? Well, here are their 2010-2011 lines, side by side – see if you can figure out which is which.

A: .268/.318/.453, .334 wOBA, 106 wRC+
B: .285/.319/.448, .330 wOBA, 106 wRC+

The slightly lower wOBA but equal wRC+ might give away the fact that Young’s line comes second, as the park adjustment for playing in Minnesota brings his overall performance up. Still, you’d be hard pressed to find two more similar hitters over the last couple of years.

If Raburn sees all of the at-bats that would have gone to Young, the Tigers won’t see much of a drop-off in expected production in left field. Of course, Raburn would have played some regardless, so there will be a bit of a loss from whatever playing time he would have accrued now being shifted to the likes of Don Kelly, Magglio Ordonez, and Danny Worth, but Leyland only managed to give Raburn five plate appearances in the first round, so he probably wasn’t going to be prominently involved in the ALCS.

Losing Young won’t help the Tigers, but if Leyland uses the injury to make Raburn a full-time player, it won’t hurt them that much either. Despite Young’s absence, your opinion of the result of the ALCS shouldn’t change much from what it was when we though Young would be healthy enough to play. He’s just not good enough to have his loss dramatically change the expected outcome.




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Dave is a co-founder of USSMariner.com and contributes to the Wall Street Journal.


106 Responses to “Delmon Young’s Absence Won’t Be A Big Deal”

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  1. Tyler says:

    You could of told me Miguel Cabrera was replacing him at equal value after last week and I would of believed you.

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    • Barkey Walker says:

      This is the confusing statement, “He’s just not good enough to have his loss dramatically change the expected outcome.”

      He is good enough to have his loss dramatically change the outcome, just not in expectation–i.e. if they played 100 and then selected 7 at random to be the ALCS, he would not be an important player. But in the 100, there would certainly be ones like the last 5 where he was important.

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  2. R says:

    is there any truth to this idea that the reason young was so useful against the yanks was because he was seeing better pitches?

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  3. Ct Tiger says:

    What this article fails to mention, is that Raburn plays against lefty starters anyways (at 2nd base). Effectively, with delmon out, Ramon Santiago now plays. It’s not the difference between raburn and delmon that matters. It’s the difference between Santiago and Delmon…and that delta is material, to say the least.

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    • jake says:

      Ramon started at 2B vs CC. There is no clear evidence that Leyland was planning on starting Raburn at 2B every game this series vs lefties.

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    • Kyle says:

      I really don’t think Leyland intended to play anyone but Santiago at 2B this postseason. Raburn’s horrid defense in the infield negates his value offensively. He’s one of the worst infielders we’ll ever see get significant time at 2B/3B in the major leagues.

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  4. Ryan says:

    Won’t be at all surprised if Raburn has a big series. He’s been great in the second half.

    Plus, as an added bonus, this has gotten Jimmie to hit Miguel 3rd!

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    • brett says:

      Agreed about Raburn. Where do see Cabrera third? I’d be shocked if Cabrera bats third.

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    • Kyle says:

      Leyland would never move Cabrera. It’ll probably be Jackson, Santiago, Ordonez, Cabrera, Martinez, Peralta, Raburn, Avila, Inge against lefties. Against the righty, I’d guess Jackson, Kelly, Ordonez, Cabrera, Martinez, Avila, Peralta, Betemit, Santiago.

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    • Chair says:

      You do realize the 3rd spot in the order is totally overrated yes?
      http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2009/3/17/795946/optimizing-your-lineup-by

      A teams two best hitters should bat 2nd and 4th, with the more OBP heavy guy hitting 2nd and the more SLG heavy guy hitting 4th.

      High OBP in the leadoff spot is a must, preferably not a power guy because homers are wasted leading off an inning.

      The 5th spot in the order is more important than the third spot. Yes the third hitter comes to the plate more often, but the 5th hitter hits with more men on base and in more important situations. The third hitter also bats with 2 out and none on quite often.

      Cabrera should bat 4th end of story

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      • Dave says:

        “Believe it or not, the difference between an optimized lineup and a typical, mildly foolish one you’ll see MLB teams use is only about one win over 162 games.”

        So, ultimately, none of this bickering matters much either.

        It doesn’t really matter…end of story.

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      • Say Hey says:

        I think “wasted homers” are a myth.

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  5. adam smith says:

    3 of the teams 6 HR’s, and the team leading OPS against the team that was supposed to sweep them in 3….naw, they won’t miss him. any replacement guy will do. Do they have any replacement players with three years of playoff experience, because some people think that has a value (go figure)?

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  6. brett says:

    In all likelihood Raburn will only start against lefties and Dirks or Kelly will start against right handers. It’s even possible that Dirks AND Kelly will play opposite corners.

    Raburn is far from great in the outfield but I’d bet anything Tigers fans have rated him so poorly because of his offensive struggles in the first half (and because of a few disastrous errors). He was hated in Detroit for a few months this season.

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    • Colin says:

      Tigers fans (I am one, full disclosure) rate him poorly because of his propensity to do something really really stupid once every 7-10 games or so. The remainder of the time he’s actually half decent. He covers a good amount of ground out in LF, makes some difficult plays, and has a strong arm.

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      • Colin says:

        After this post I looked up his UZR (rates him very highly this year in LF) and it basically echoes my observations, good positive range and arm, negative error.

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  7. Larry Brown says:

    Echoing what Adam said, he was probably the biggest reason they beat the Yankees. How can you say it won’t be a big deal? This isn’t a long-term season we’re talking about, this is a small sample size where you need your players to get hot in order to win. Losing Cody Ross last year may not have seemed like a big deal, but the Giants wouldn’t have won the World Series without him.

    The playoffs are about who’s hot, not about who has the best splits or slash lines.

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    • jake says:

      It isn’t a big deal because the Yankees series is over and has little direct bearing on the Rangers’ series.

      In other words, 5 ALDS games don’t replace years worth of data.

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    • Dave Cameron says:

      There’s just nothing true about this.

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      • brett says:

        Are you disagreeing the Young was hot, or do you not believe in players getting hot?

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      • Dave Cameron says:

        There’s absolutely zero evidence that recent small sample performance is useful in predicting future performance. The hot hand is a myth.

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      • jake says:

        @Brett There’s no evidence to show that ‘hotness’ is predictable from recent past results to near-future results. Overall hot streaks are only seen in full in the rearview mirror.

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      • jake says:

        and Dave beat me to it.

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      • brett says:

        Interesting, thanks. Although the fact that you can’t predict the end of a hot streak doesn’t necessitate that they don’t exist.

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      • brett says:

        Although I suppose that’s enough evidence not to keep starting a guy expecting him to stay hot, so fair enough…

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      • Woodman says:

        when you’re saying “there’s nothing true about this”, the “this” refers to your statement right?

        because if it refers to the guy talking about hot streaks, I’m pretty sure it should be “there’s nothing proven about this”.

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      • Larry Brown says:

        So by your logic, it wouldn’t have been a big deal if the Tigers didn’t have Delmon Young for Game 5 against the Yankees and had Ryan Raburn in the lineup instead, is that right?

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      • jake says:

        @Larry Brown Going INTO game 5, there would be no difference in expectation.

        Looking back on it now, we shouldn’t expect that Raburn would have put up the same day. But, then again, we shouldn’t have expected Delmon to put up that day.

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      • Larry Brown says:

        @Jake Obviously nobody expected him to have that good of a game, but I don’t know how you can look at a guy who hit 3 home runs in the series and helped win two games and say it’s not a loss.

        Just because he had a good series doesn’t mean the Tigers should sign him to an extension, and I’m not saying he’s going to be an All-Star next year because of it. But I sure as heck would want to take my chances with him in the ALCS if he were healthy.

        I guess the Rays shouldn’t have discounted it if they lost BJ Upton in the ’08 playoffs because he only hit 9 home runs in the regular season, right? Some players happen to get hot at times during a season. It’s impossible to ignore that, and it’s hard to deny that Delmon was hot in the ALDS.

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      • jake says:

        No one is saying the Tigers are better without Delmon or that he shouldn’t be playing if healthy. Just saying that Raburn can be reasonably expected to do a fine Delmon impersonation.

        And if we really wanna talk about players being “hot” check out Raburn’s performance since the all-star break.

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      • Larry Brown says:

        Dave is saying that the “hot hand is a myth.”

        I saw what Cody Ross did last year, what BJ Upton did in ’08, and what Carlos Beltran did in ’04 and completely disagree. To me, those are examples of hitters getting hot in the postseason.

        What would you call it?

        And would you disagree that 3 home runs in 5 games is not a sign that a player was hot and might continue the streak?

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        What Dave is saying is that being hot in one series does not mean being hot in the next series.

        Similar in the situation of being hot at the end of the season does not mean hot in the first round of the playoffs or vice versa.

        I don;t think Dave is saying that those players weren’t hot during the series, just that it does lend to predicting they’ll be hot in the next series.

        ————————————–

        Looking at the guys mentioned in this thread …

        Carlos Beltran
        04 LDS OPS 1.591
        04 LCS OPS 1.521

        06 LDS OPS .722
        06 LCS OPS .1.054

        BJ Upton
        08 LDS OPS 1.205
        08 LCS OPS 1.180
        08 WS OPS .500

        10 LDS OPS .476
        10 LCS OPS .944

        Cody Ross
        10 LDS OPS .905
        10 LCS OPS 1.385
        10 WS OPS .825

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      • Larry Brown says:

        And if the premise of this post is that you can’t predict the future, then why are we being told definitively that losing Delmon Young will not be a big deal?

        Does Dave know something nobody else does?

        How about, “Raburn can be capable replacement for Delmon” for a headline?

        I think we can all agree on that.

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        That’s one thing we like about Dave … he always states things in a manner that gets your attention and your comments.

        Regardless of what one thinks about Dave, there are very few guys that are as much fun to talk baseball with. He will say some things that one will disagree with, but there is always a good discussion following.

        Bill James said a lot of things that pissed people off, sometimes he downright offended them. Dave is a lot less crass than James. That’s kind of the point of sabermetrics … to go against conventional wisdom and what people just observed. If it did not, then we could just keep using “common sense” and observations to accurately evaluate situations.

        Right now, there wouldn’t be much more controversial than stating the Tigers won;t miss Young much in the next series … and based on history, he’s probably right.

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      • Larry Brown says:

        @CircleChange11 Well congratulations, because his headline directly contradicts his reasoning.

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        I said he gets your attention and induces a good discussion.

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      • adam smith says:

        it looks like ross, upton, and beltran did have hot streaks that carried over from the lds to the lcs.

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      • Dave Cameron says:

        Go here:

        http://www.amazon.com/Book-Playing-Percentages-Baseball/dp/1597971294

        Use the “search inside this book” feature to search for “when you’re hot”. Read it.

        We’re not just making stuff up here. A player’s recent performance has no predictive value on his future performance. This has been studied, and it’s true.

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    • brett says:

      This is the only reason I want Young in the lineup. He had a great ALDS and may have been able to keep it going.

      That said, he’s exactly the type of player I’d expect advanced scouting and a new pitching approach to exploit.

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    • Larry Brown says:

      @CircleChange11 with the exception of BJ Upton’s World Series, all three players appeared to have maintained their hot streaks from one series to the next. Meanwhile, all three remained hot from the LDS to the LCS. I think that makes for a pretty decent case arguing that someone who gets really hot in the LDS can carry it over to the LCS, and I think Young could have been that guy.

      And as far as shock-jocking with a headline, once you do that, you lose some credibility. Dave did that with this headline. I didn’t know the point of this site was to say something outrageous just to get a reaction. If that were the objective, why not just write a post arguing that Daniel Schlereth was the Tigers’ best player in the ALDS?

      I also think a major fault of hardcore sabermetrics is that people fail to realize that the game is played out on the field — where unpredictable things happen — not in the numbers. That is especially true in the playoffs where short series allow for a greater luck factor.

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        That’s precisely why I wanted to post those guys stats, to see what the data showed.

        Now, what we’d need to do is establish some criteria of what “hot” is and look back at ALL the players that were “hot” in one series and see how they performed in another series.

        One of our favorite guys, Alex Rodriguez, seems to follow the “all hot” or “all cold” pattern, which could possibly be expected given his mental characteristics (or my perception of them).

        If we looked at all “hot” players we might find a general pattern or no pattern.

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      • JDA says:

        “I think that makes for a pretty decent case arguing that someone who gets really hot in the LDS can carry it over to the LCS, and I think Young could have been that guy.”

        hahah you can not be real. There’s no way.

        SPORTZ!

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      • Breadbaker says:

        Edgar Martinez, 1995 ALDS: 1.667 OPS
        Edgar Martinez, 1995 ALCS: .279 OPS

        I can cherry pick data, too.

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  8. Richie says:

    In what way does Delmon Young possess “athletic ability”, any more so than those Tigers who will replace him? My impression was that he’s not particularly fast, not particularly strong, doesn’t throw particularly well, that his ‘blah’ athleticism was one of the most disappointing things about him given his pedigree.

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    • mike says:

      Delmon is a lazy fielder, and I haven’t watched him closely the past few years, but I know he can’t run all that well and has never developed into the hitter everyone thought he would be. That said, when he came up with the Devil Rays he had an amazing arm, maybe the best in the game, and definitely in the top 10. Vlad, Mondesi and Ichiro are the only players that I have seen who could throw like Delmon. I watched him gun the ball from the warning track to home more than once and I can’t believe that has completely gone away. Am I missing something?

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  9. Pat says:

    Yes it will…

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  10. CircleChange11 says:

    From a sabermetric analysis standpoint, and using our valuable metrics, Dave is spot on. Based on our methodology and research, he’s looking at the right stuff and coming up with the right conclusion.

    –> However, to me, the issue is the different environment of the playoffs. <–

    3-man rotations, only the best relievers, and some positions featuring defense over offense are important differences.

    My preference is to have players with the potential to go deep. Sustained rallies are likely reduced to the improved quality of pitching and defense.

    Ryan Theriot can get 7 hits in 2 games and not have the impact that Delmon Young did with his HRs.

    Obviously, HRs put runs on the board immediately … and in potentially low scoring environments, and short series, that's a major factor.

    That's what makes Texas so scary to me. You can get 3 of their main guys out every time, and then Napoli hits a bomb that beats you. The next night, Beltre goes off, then Hamilton, then Young … they have multiple guys that can change the game with a swing. DET doesn't have that many guys that can do that, and Cabrera is likely to get the "anybody but him beats us" treatment. So now you're relying on rookie Avila, Peralta, and hoping someone else (Martinez, etc) does something unexpected.

    In looking at pitch values, Young has typically struggled against hard stuff, while killing changeups. Texas is a "hard stuff" team. Raburn is slightly better on hard stuff while slightly lesser against changeups. Given that we're dealing with such small samples, it's hard to really put your finger on anything that would give an obvious nod to one guy over the other. The difference would be that Young has shown an ability to do something major, but then you're back to SSS.

    Granting SSS, in the ALDS Young showed an ability to cut down on K's, walk some, and hit for power. Raburn either singled or struckout (again, conceding SSS).

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    • adam smith says:

      “Texas is a “hard stuff” team.”

      not entirely true. their best playoff pitcher, colby cistulli lewis, is only an average FB at best–he throws over 40% breaking balls. and their best starter has the least FB of the lefties–really more of a solid average velo than plus.

      three of the starters are lefties, and young hits lefties much, much better than righties.

      he has had tremendous success against holland–who has the hardest stuff among the lefties. so you might want to rethink the “struggles against hard stuff” comment. young does not struggle against lefties–even the hard throwing type. texas has three lefty starters.

      only one of the starters, ogando, is a guy you would expect young to struggle against.

      did you look at young’s results against texas? he hits them pretty good.

      of course it is all SSS, and danny worth might go off on a tear…if he gets into the game. which is another reason why losing delmon is a big deal. depth is extremely important. even the most vitriolic of delmon haters would have to admit that they would rather have him in a game than danny worth.

      delmon young’s absence will indeed be a big deal. not a very well thought out argument, although it fired enough people to comment…which was probably the point.

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        Adam, this is the exact type of discussion I enjoy. I say something you disagree with, and you show me why with evidence. Awesome.

        My comments were based on performance versus pitch type (from the FG player page).

        Young does not fare well against FB and SL (what I consider hard stuff). He hits the poop out of changeups and does well against cutters. To me, that’s a bat speed issue primarily.

        Baseball reference’s splits shows that Young …

        [1] Has hit the crap out of Texas this year (.955 OPS in 31 AB)
        [2] Does not do well against power or finesse pitchers
        [3] Hits very well against the guys in the middle category
        [4] Hits much better at night (.599 OPS in day games, 162 PA)
        [5] Better hitter vLHP’s

        TEX pitchers, as a team, are in the top 10 of pitch values for FBs and SLs, and are 4th in avr FB velocity. Of course, we’d have to look at the pitchers he’d be facing more often to get a “playoff composite” of what he’d likely be facing.

        Very good discussion. Hell, if you throw out his performance in day games, his true talent goes up significantly (that’s been consistent throughout his career).

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      • adam smith says:

        actually a cutter is harder than a slider.

        young can hit a FB. his problem is similar to betancourt–he swings at everything. Betancourt can hit a premium FB. pitchers will try to get him out with SL away–similar to the way they go after young. i’ve seen young turn on 100mph. it’s the SL away that causes the problem. however, they are both threats.

        young has only one k against the current texas pitching staff–and that was against lewis. he also only has one walk. one strikeout in 30AB against the 4th hardest throwing pitching staff would seem to indicate that he can’t be overpowered.

        Who were the hardest throwing staffs? i’d like to see how he did against them.

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    • Larry Brown says:

      I’d define “hot” as a player who’s homered in half of his team’s postseason games. And I wouldn’t count a guy like Beltre who had 3 homers in one game, because there’s a difference between being hot in one game and being hot for a series.

      I’ll bet there aren’t that many players who qualify under that criteria, but those who do, probably had continued success from the LDS to LCS.

      And as far as the scouting report on Delmon that says he doesn’t hit the hard stuff well, I’m pretty certain most of his postseason hits came off the fastball. So it looks like the scouting was right, but Delmon just happened to have success.

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      • Larry Brown says:

        Last thing I’ll say: People who aren’t at least willing to explore the possibility that a player who gets hot enough in the LDS can continue the success to the LCS, are as stubborn as the traditionalists who aren’t willing to consider sabermetrics.In both cases, it’s pointless to try to hold a discussion with these headstrong folks.

        It’s disappointing to find some of that here given that we should always be trying to think about the game in new ways.

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      • Ronin says:

        Don Kelly hit a homer run against the Yankees, why isnt he starting at first over Cabrera. Cabrera is on a definite cold streak and we just dont have the time to wait it out.

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      • JDanger says:

        “I’ll bet there aren’t that many players who qualify under that criteria, but those who do, probably had continued success from the LDS to LCS.”

        I very quickly did the leg work on this. It’s happened 15 times where a player has hit 3 HR in the LDS. nine times that player has gone on to post an OPS >league average, six times below.

        http://uzrillusion2.blogspot.com/2011/10/blog-post.html

        If i get time later I’ll compare their LCS #s to their reg season #s

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  11. Colin says:

    This is a slight upgrade for the Tigers because of the defense. I’d venture to guess Raburn might even have more extreme splits against LH as well. So given that Raburn is going to see a LH starter 3/4 times with the remaining game(s) going to Andy Dirks, This might be a positive thing on both sides.

    (checking to see if Raburn’s splits are more extreme)….

    And they are. Win Win.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5ARsRUUnUU

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  12. adam smith says:

    this isn’t fantasy baseball. losing your 3 hole hitter at a time like this, when he has provided a demonstrable lift against the best team in the league, is a huge thing in the dugout and locker room. if one of your teammates is having success, it makes things easier for all the rest.

    as has been mentioned above, the playoffs are a SSS. in the regular season, different players go off at different times. SSS means that losing a player who is going off at the present time–in the playoffs– is more catastrophic than in the regular season.

    …and there is a benefit to having experience. you can pooh pooh the psychological aspect all you want, but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. it takes a while to get over the wobbly knees and shaking hands–or at least to learn to play with it. and if you’ve had success with your body on full fight or flight mode, you kinda learn to like it. mr replacement is only mr replacement if he has already experienced the playoff pressure.

    give arod enough time, and he too will go on a tear, although it looks like he might be running out of time. arod is 36, delmon is 26, and there is that little matter of decling bat speed and strength.

    i think that part of the problem is that it is one of the most hated players on these boards that has gone off on a tear. having delmon on a tear is almost as bad as having morgan, gomez, and betancourt win the series for the crew.

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  13. Old randy says:

    This sure is big news…I totally understand why this was covered within hours of it happening while the best game five EVER has received literally zero attention on Fangraphs thus far.

    How about that game last night fellas?

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  14. Slats says:

    Cocaine is a helluva drug.

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  15. RetroRob says:

    I’m sure the Yankees wished he was injured the prior series.

    It is impossible to figure out what the loss of one player will mean over the course of a short series. It could be an significant loss based on how Young was swinging the bat.

    We’ll never know.

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  16. Alex says:

    “Young performed well for Detroit in their ALDS win over the Yankees”

    I think that’s an understatement. He was the best offensive player in that series. A series that included Robinson Cano and Miguel Cabrera. Of course this is a small sample size and could be meaningless, but asserting this injury is a non-factor seems unnecessary. I’m also surprised rarely anyone is mentioning how huge of a blow Boesch’s injury is to this series. Again, small sample size during the regular season, but Magglio is gasping for air at the plate. Boesch’s pop and consistency in right field would have made the Tigers that much scarier.

    Update: Raburn got on base three times tonight, but failed to knock in a solo homerun!

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  17. bonestock94 says:

    He was in the midst of a hot streak, and his injury may have cut that short. Obviously there’s no predicative value in a hot streak but they may have lost that “lightning in a bottle” for the rest of the playoffs. It’s not unheard of for mediocre players to help in the playoffs, like Cody Ross for instance.

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  18. Dan Greer says:

    Let’s assume for a minute that the Tigers do advance to the World Series, and that Delmon Young is available again (and completely healthy).

    What do the Tigers do in the NL games with Avila/Martinez/Cabrera?

    I’m of the opinion that you try to start all three, given how well each of them performed offensively. But the defensive flexibility appears to be limited, unless you allow Miggy to roam LF again (bad idea). He hasn’t played anywhere but 1B since 2008, so it would appear that he’d be locked in there despite previous experience at 3B and LF, which are both not strengths for Detroit.

    Victor would seem to be by default, catching, which would also allow Avila a “rest.” However, Avila’s Major League experience is limited to catcher, with the exception of one game at 3B this year. He played some 1B in the minors, and played both positions (but not catcher) in college. He’s not a bad athlete by any means. He might be “good enough” for a couple games.

    Delmon Young isn’t good enough offensively or defensively to write him into the lineup without considering alternatives, and for that matter, neither is Magglio Ordonez. They were a combined -0.6 WAR on the season, though Delmon was obviously less terrible with Detroit. Leyland has a crippling loyalty to Magglio.

    What do you do if you’re faced with this decision? I think I know what Leyland will do (he’ll bench VMart or Avila), but I often disagree with his tactical decisions.

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  19. Rather absurd to write an article suggesting one’s future performance can not be predicted using the performance during a current “hot streak” while at the same time make the assertion that his future performance will be average because in the past he was average.

    Delmon Young in 179 PAs against the Rangers has a .897 OPS.

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    • jake says:

      It is not absurd at all. The claim was not “You can not predict the future form the past.” The claim was “Large past sample sizes are better at predicting the future than small past sample sizes.”

      The first is absurd. The second is logical.

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    • Ian says:

      How many of those 179 PAs were against guys he’d face in the ALCS like CJ Wilson, Neftali Feliz, Alexi Ogando, etc., and how many were against guys on previous (crummy) Rangers staffs like Kevin Millwood and Kason Gabbard (or the 2008 version of CJ Wilson who had a 6 ERA)?

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  20. Ian says:

    Worth pointing out: Young’s homer off Sabathia in game 1 was a fly ball that just barely went out of the shortest RF in the majors. See the video:

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2011_09_30_detmlb_nyamlb_1&mode=wrap&c_id=mlb#gid=2011_09_30_detmlb_nyamlb_1&mode=video

    Hit hard, but that’s an out in most parks. Replace one HR in his line for the ALDS with an out and his OPS drops from 1.170 to .912. Still a good series, but are we then even having this conversation?

    People forget how often luck plays into HRs.

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  21. CircleChange11 says:

    @Adam

    Yea the cutter is higher velocity, but it is a reduced velocity fastball.

    The slider is the highest velocity breaking pitch.

    There aren’t many cutters out there that move enough to be considered anything other than a “weak 2-seamer moving in the opposite direction”.

    Sliders are the poop b/c there are the best combination of velocity and movement, which also makes them the highest risk pitch.

    For whatever reason Young, by pitch type and value metrics does do well against fastballs and sliders. Almost no one does well against sliders.

    Been my experience that batters that struggle with fastballs and sliders but hit cutters/2-sealers and changeuos have bat speed issues. Movement does not bother them as much as velocity It’s possible that does not describe Young

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  22. Flip says:

    The Tigers must be freaking out now that Ordonez is hurt.

    Now Young’s injury is a very huge deal.

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    • Dan Greer says:

      So we get to see a lot more Don Kelly / Andy Dirks as well as the aforementioned Raburn. Given how Ordonez has been this season, it might not qualify as a downgrade at all.

      I guess Detroit activates Rhymes and starts using the positional flexibility of Santiago and Inge if necessary.

      All I can say is, the pitching better be good.

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    • JG says:

      They probably are freaking out, but they shouldn’t be.

      Magglio is washed up and probably would have never have made the postseason roster were it not for his $10MM contract and his past playoff brilliance. I’d much rather have Dirks playing RF. Even Kelly is a better hitter than Maggs at this point, in addition to being a plus defender (career 19.1 UZR/150 in the outfield).

      It’s sad to see a great Tiger (at least in terms of past production/heroic moments) go out like this, but the Tigers almost certainly are not any worse off.

      (And suddenly the Tigers’ corner outfield defense goes from beyond horrible to pretty good as long as Raburn doesn’t fumble any more fly balls over the fence.)

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      • Ian says:

        Magglio made the postseason roster because he hit over .400 in September, with a hit in 20 of his last 21 games. Then he hit over .400 v. the Yankees, with hits in 5 of his last 7 ABs. I do look forward to having a competent defensive outfield for the first time in as long as I can remember (assuming Jackson remembers what he’s supposed to be doing out there), but this is clearly a loss for the Tigers in a series v. a number of LHPs.

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  23. Teddy says:

    On the lineup thing, having your best hitter hit 4th rather than 3rd, since there are generally less runs scored during the playoffs, (I know this has minimal effect) isn’t the most important thing simply to get the best hitter an extra at bat or so over the course of a series? (I have no idea, just speculating)

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  24. Say Hey says:

    injuries are piling up now. Young loss probably worse than Maggs. But who know… maybe they get some big hits in the series from Dirks or Raburn.

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  25. the fume says:

    Young replacing Mags. So I guess Young’s absence is less of a big deal than anyone would have thought.

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  26. MrKnowNothing says:

    So. This is embarassing…

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    • Brett says:

      How is this embarrasing?

      Raburn Playoff OBP-.429
      Young Playoff OBP – .313

      Raburn Playoff OPS – 1.054
      Young Playoff OPS – 1.079

      Raburn has been better in the ALCS and no dropoff from Young to Raburn. Just as Dave said.

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  27. Michael Lewis says:

    Oops, can we have a do over?

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    • jake says:

      The point of the article was that going from Delmon to Raburn was not a significant downgrade.

      With how Raburn has played this ALCS, Dave’s opinion seems to be supported.

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  28. adohaj says:

    Delmon Young don’t cur what Dave says

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  29. davie says:

    what a shietty article, just like “giants injury to posey opens door for colorado” eariler this year

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