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How to use Shelton

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How should the Tigers use Chris Shelton?

Clearly, he's the 3rd string catcher behind Pudge and Inge. He can DH, play 1B and 3B badly, and the outfield worse.

But he has potential to be a fine hitter.

How would you use him this year?

Taking AB's away from Pena or Munson makes little sense being that we want those two young(ish) players to develop. We lose less defensively at 3B by replacing Munson with Shelton now and again.

In the outfield, we already have Monroe in reserve in the corners if Higginson or White need a break or get hurt. Higginson could replace Sanchez in CF likewise with Monroe taking RF in such cases.

At DH, Dmitri is perfectly suited to the job.

So what do you think? How should we best use Shelton while permitting the other players we have at his positions to be the best they can be?

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In mid April when the Tigers recall Ugeuth Urbina from Lakeland, have Shelton come down with a "groin" injury. One that puts him on the 15-day DL and keeps him on the bench for about 10 days. Then he can go down to the minors for a 21-day rehab assignment. Toward the end of the rehab stint, Shelton can re-injure the groin. Maybe it could be a 60-day DL stint that second time, don't you think?

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Good one Mully. I don't know if that's legal. They need to make a trade. Shelton can pinch hit for now, and maybe DH a few times.

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Originally posted by MULLY68

In mid April when the Tigers recall Ugeuth Urbina from Lakeland, have Shelton come down with a "groin" injury. One that puts him on the 15-day DL and keeps him on the bench for about 10 days. Then he can go down to the minors for a 21-day rehab assignment. Toward the end of the rehab stint, Shelton can re-injure the groin. Maybe it could be a 60-day DL stint that second time, don't you think?

I don't think that will work. We are already doing that with Uranenta(? too tired to look it up). They might catch on.

Pinch hit him. Let him spell Dimitri and Pena.

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I'm a little concerned about losing Shelton. If they use him, and he hits major league pitching - the Pirates will certainly want him back, making it harder to make a deal for him. What to do, what to do? How about make a deal for him NOW rather than later.

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Originally posted by mottsi

I don't think that will work. We are already doing that with Uranenta(? too tired to look it up). They might catch on.

Pinch hit him. Let him spell Dimitri and Pena.

The problem is that Shelton isn't a regular catcher. Or a third baseman or a first baseman for that matter. It is hard to hide a guy on a 2004 major league AL roster. The bench is so small.

The Tigers need a back up catcher, a utility infielder and and an outfielder. That leaves one spot. Since the other three hit right-handed that leaves Norton, who switch hits, to be a lefty hitter off the bench. I think Shelton's is starting to tweak his groin right now. It will be pretty bad by April 14.

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I think Munson will rest sometimes, Young moves to 3b and Shelton' be the DH. Or he (or Young - Shelton would be the DH) plays some 1b when Pena rests. And they could play him as pinch hitter of course or in games, that are decided after 6 innings.

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MLB has tightened the rules so that it is harder to hide someone on the DL. The Rangers got in trouble last season for trying it.

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Have hit be the #2 picnh hitter behind Monroe, and get him playing time against lefties in place of Pena and Higginson. Someone in the OF is probably going to get injured, which will make Shelton the #1 pinch hitter and primary sub for Pena and Higginson, so it shouldn't be tough to get him Ab's. Don't expect Shelton to hit major league pitching this year. He's simply not ready yet. But if they can get him through the season he'll look very nice on Toledo's roster next year.

I really hope Young isn't playing any 3B this year for us.

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I wish the Tigers would consider putting Pena in right field now and again, especially if (or when) Higginson's season is tanking. That would open up first for Shelton to play once in a while, and give the Tigers a little more flexibility.

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I have a feeling the roster numbers game will take of itself once players start getting injured. There will be more than enough at bats for everyone. I really don't see the Tigers getting into a situation where they have too much depth !

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Of course Dave D. could have something up his sleeve with an early season trade. You can never have enough good hitters. Shelton or possibly others could be shipped for another starting pitcher. I see that Erickson might be availabe from the Mets.

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Originally posted by BiggieG

I see that Erickson might be availabe from the Mets.

I say go for it. It's always nice to acquire players who have foxy wives.

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Have hit be the #2 picnh hitter behind Monroe, and get him playing time against lefties in place of Pena and Higginson. Someone in the OF is probably going to get injured, which will make Shelton the #1 pinch hitter and primary sub for Pena and Higginson, so it shouldn't be tough to get him Ab's.

That would be perfect. But the most important thing he will be doing all year is catching all those pitchers in the bullpen and Parrish trying to develop him into a legitimate catcher. Plus, he needs to do a lot of throwing before games and develop his arm strength. He's still real young and getting coached up might not be a bad situation for him defensively. He's going to miss the ab's though but if he's such a natural hitter it probably won't matter.

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