I know that I have to press the "shift" key to type out a tilde (~), but I didn't realize opposing defenses were employing a shift to get The Big Tilde out. I haven't been able to watch our Detroit Tigers on television for the past six days, so if this is something that's been mentioned or pointed out regularly by the home crew, I plead ignorance. But Baseball Musings made a note of it, based on what was heard on today's Tigers-Jays broadcast:
The Tigers broadcast pointed out something about the defensive alignment against Magglio Ordonez. The first baseman is playing way off the line, in what would usually be the hole between second and first.
Is that a big factor in Ordonez's current .271/.354/.429 average? One of my initial thoughts was "So that shift's affecting his power?" but Maggs has the same number of home runs (two) at this point of the season as he did last year. His RBIs are down a bit (seven, compared to 11), but how much has that been influenced by the Tigers' overall hitting struggles?
Actually, despite whatever shifts defenses might be employing, Ordonez is actually hitting better as of April 21, 2008 than he was at the same time in 2007. Back then, his average was .258/.338/.468. However, Maggs really picked it up for the last eight games of the month, eventually raising his average to .344/.434/.622. Five multi-hit games seriously boosted those numbers. Can he repeat that same performance over the last eight games of April 2008? We shall see.