Square Pen in Round Hole: WAR Analysis

Sometimes I make typo's. I meant "peg", was thinking "peg", but typed "pen" instead. Don't know why either. It just happened that way. I didn't want to correct the title either, because when mistakes are made, they deserve to be pointed out. We shouldn't just edit them and pretend they didn't happen. That's the reason why we have baseball statistics after all.

As for the title, the Tigers played with no DH last week, which was like putting a square peg in a round hole. But somehow, the Tigers pitchers hit a robust .300 in 12 PA's and ranked 2nd in batting WAR in the majors during the 2nd week of the season. So that round hole was filled rather well. Anibal Sanchez hit a game tying double and Verlander had 2 singles. We ended up winning both of those games too.

The Tigers did have plenty of other holes during week 2 to speak of.

1st, let me define what a hole is. I'd say it's below replacement level or less than 0 WAR, and ranks among the worst of 15 teams in the AL.

At Fangraphs, this is how the Tigers ranked at each position the 2nd week:

C: -0.2 WAR, 14th in AL.

1B: -0.4 WAR, 15th in AL.

2B: 0.2 WAR, 5th in AL.

SS: -0.2 WAR, 15th in AL.

3B: -0.5 WAR, 15th in AL.

RF: -0.3 WAR 13th in AL.

CF: -0.1 WAR 14th in AL.

LF: 0.2 WAR 7th in AL.

DH: none

Batting: -0.5 WAR 14th in AL.

SP: 0.9 WAR 3rd in AL.

RP: 0.3 WAR 5th in AL.

Pitching: 1.2 WAR 2nd in AL.

DRS: -9 (was -7 last week, and is -16 for the season).

The Tigers biggest holes may appear to have been at 3B/1B, but those rankings at fangraphs are somewhat false since they don't have accurate data for defensive positioning. For instance, they don't separate Miggy, VMart, or Don Kelly's stats at their proper positioning, but add them to all the positions they played. They don't have VMart listed at Catcher either, mistakenly have all his playing time at 1B/DH positions, even though we didn't use a DH last week. So WAR is pretty screwed up for us at C,1B, 3B, RF, and DH. So if I'm going to point fingers, I want to do correctly.

Miggy was -0.4 WAR, worst on the team. Don Kelly was -0.2 WAR and Avila was -0.1 WAR. VMart and Castellanos each had 0.1 WAR, so lets not blame them.

At SS, the Tigers only had 1 hit in 18 AB's. Alex Gonzalez was -0.2 WAR and Romine was -0.1 WAR. Which was pretty much what was expected. I think everyone understands that we could get below replacement level value from this SS combination most weeks. Maybe come June, we can add Stephen Drew to solidify our infield. So we'll just have to take whatever we can get until then.

In the bullpen, Joe Nathan was -0.1 WAR, while The rest of the pitching staff done fine. The bullpen had a 3.86 ERA and 3.35 FIP for the week. Even better, the peg only walked 3 batters, while striking out 16. Nathan unforgettably walked 2 of those batters in one game during the 9th inning. Overall, bullpen worries may have been squared away for now.

Lastly, the Tigers batting WAR leader this season, believe it or not, is Rajai Davis at 0.3 WAR. That's not a misprint.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of the <em>Bless You Boys</em> writing staff.

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