Tag Archive: Wilson Betemit


ALL THE RIGHT MOVES

The signing of Victor Martinez in the offseason has proven to be a key reason behind the Tigers winning the AL Central this season. (B. Calloway photo)

Dave Dombrowski entered the season with his job on the line.

The  Detroit Tigers general manager was on the final year of his contract and needed to help the team get back to the postseason.

He made several key decisions that helped the Tigers win the AL Central division title – their first division crown since 1987 and first playoff berth since reaching the World Series in 2006. Here is a look at some of the decisions he made that helped get the Tigers back into the postseason.

Signing Victor Martinez in the offseason

This might be one of the single most important decisions Dombrowski made.  The Tigers had several players they could pursue to bolster their lineup with Jayson Werth, Adam Dunn and Carl Crawford also being available. The decision to bring Martinez aboard for four years looks to be the be the best move of the bunch. Dunn, who is in his 1st season in the AL, is hitting .160 with 11 home runs and 42 RBIs for the White Sox. Crawford (.254, 11 HR, 18 SBs) is having a down year with the Red Sox and the same has been the case for Werth  (.232, 20 HR, 58 RBIS) with the Nationals.  Meanwhile Martinez has been a leader on and off the field for the Tigers

The switch-hitting Martinez is batting .324 with 12 home runs and 102 RBIs. He has come up with a number of big hits for the Tigers and made teams pay when they pitched around Miguel Cabrera. With runners on base he is hitting .399 and .390 when they are in scoring position.

Trading for Doug Fister at the trade deadline

Since being acquired from the Mariners in July, Doug Fister is 8-1 in 10 starts for the Tigers. (AP)

The Tigers needed pitching at the deadline to bolster their chances at winning the division. Fister has been the answer. Ubaldo Jimenez was considered to be one of the highly coveted players on the market but the Tiger and Dombrowski were smart to work out a trade with Seattle for Fister instead. Jimenez has struggled with the rival Indians, while Fister has become a top of the line starter for Detroit. In 10 starts since being acquired by the Tigers on July 30, Fister is 8-1 with a 1.79 ERA. He has struck out 54 and walked five over 70 1/3 innings. He and likely AL Cy Young winner Justin Verlander have formed a formidable 1-2 combination with a combined 14-0 record and 1.61 ERA since Aug. 16. Fister ranks fourth in the AL with a 2.83 ERA. Jimenez is 4-4 with a 5.10 ERA in 11 starts since the Indians acquired him from the Rockies.

Landing Wilson Betemit, Delmon Young from division rivals

Dombrowski made trades with division rivals during the season to land players that have been important pieces for the Tigers. In July, he acquired Betemit from the Royals. Betemit stepped in for the struggling Brandon Inge at third base. Betemit has hit .281 with four homers and 18 RBIs since joining the Tigers. Young was acquired in August from the Twins and has anchored left field and the No. 3 spot in the Detroit lineup. He has hit .264 with seven homers with 29 RBIs and four doubles in 38 games with the Tigers. Acquiring Young has proved as extra important with the Tigers having lost Brennan Boesch for the season with a thumb injury in August.

Acquiring Jhonny Peralta from Cleveland and re-signing him

Dombrowski acquired Peralta before the trade deadline in 2010, but the decision has made a big impact on this year’s team. Signed to a two-year contract in the offseason to play shortstop, Peralta has been a valuable contributor to the Tigers offense and has played steady defense. Peralta, who has mostly hit in the No. 6 or 7 spots in the lineup, entered Tuesday’s game hitting a career-best .301 with 20 home runs and 84 RBIs. He also has 25 doubles.

Advertisements

Thoughts on Game 9 of 162

Brandon Inge looks down after his throwing error on Sunday. Inge's error is one of four the Tigers had in Sunday's 9-5 loss to the Royals at Comerica Park. (AP)

The Tigers dropped their third straight series as they dropped the rubber match of a three-game set with the Royals to fall to 3-6. The road doesn’t get any easier either as they welcome in the defending AL champion Texas Rangers for a three-game series. The Rangers are off to 8-1 start this season.

Hero: The Kansas City offense

Every Royal had a hit and seven different players drove in runs to lead the balanced Kansas City attack. The Royals scored run in six of the nine innings and never trailed in the contest. Wilson Betemit led the 15-hit attack by going 4 f0r 4 with two runs scored and an RBI. Michigan native Chris Getz had two RBIs for the Royals.

Not defensive minded: For a good portion of the game, the Tigers had more errors then hits. Their sloppy play in the field provided the Royal offense with a boost that they didn’t need with as many hits as they got off of Detroit pitching. Ryan Raburn had a throwing error in the third inning that allowed Melky Cabrera to move from second to third. He then scored on a groundout. With one out and runners on the corners in the fifth, Brandon Inge had a throwing error to second base on what could’ve been an inning-ending double play ball. That error allow K.C. to push its lead to 5-1. Daniel Schlereth and Rick Porcello also had throwing errors while trying to pick runners off at first.

Key to success?: Many pundits believe that Rick Porcello would be the key to the Tigers fortunes. As a No. 3 starter behind Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer, his success would likely determine how well the Tigers do. So far, not so good on that front. While his defense didn’t do him any justice on Sunday, Porcello allowed nine hits, five earned runs and walked three in five innings.

Jhonny on the spot: While Miguel Cabrera has been a big component in the Tigers offense, Jhonny Peralta has quietly gotten off to a great start for the Tigers. His struggles in spring training have been documented. Since the team has traveled north and the games have counted, Peralta has done nothing but hit. He went 3 for 4 on Sunday with a home run and double. He is batting .379 with three doubles and four RBIs out of the seven spot in the lineup.

Up next: Texas, 1 p.m. Monday