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MIKE RIVERA>>>Rookie of the Year Fan Club

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Last year I started the Brandon INge Rookie of the Year chant...but Inge slumped and got hurt. Rivera is hitting about .315 with 1 homer and 7 RBI and has thrown out 2 or 3 runners already. Lou Whitaker was Tigers last ROY back in the 1970s.....last year Ichiro had it in the bag...but who else is doing well as a rookie. Is Pineiro still considered a rookie ?

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I know I'm in the minority here, but *right now* I'd like to see the Tigers play Rivera more than Meluskey.

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Well then we are in it together, because I too would like to see Rivera starting every day. I know its early but I get the same feeling about him as I do with cruz, if given the chance to play everyday......good stuff will happen.

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if he's gonna be in the major league he should be playing every day in my opinion

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Do you guys think Rivera is better? I agree Rivera needs to play regularly or else why is he not in Toledo. But Meluskey is one of the Tigers best hitters and needs to play, Pujols is making a big mistake IMO not lgiving him enough at bats.

Other rookies having early sucess, Pena for Oakland has 5 HR's, Nick Johnson is doing well for the Yankees.

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I agree Soakitup,Meluskey having half the at bats of the rest of the starters is a crime.The guy can have a .400 obp over a whole season.He isn't hitting well now likely because he isn't getting consistent at bats.But also if Rivera is going to be on the roster at all he has to play daily as well,so the two of these guys need to alternate between DH and catcher.Palmer stays on the dl unless he can play the field,everyone else either plays their position or sits the bench.Jacob Cruz seems to have more playing time than Meluskey and that is just nuts.

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Meluskey is one of the Tigers best hitters

I respect your opinion, but what is that based on? I hear all the time he's a "great hitter" (and I hope he is), but I haven't seen any evidence.

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TC,Meluskey had a very nice couple years in the minors before going to the Astros.In 1998 at AAA he had a 1049 ops and in 1997 at AA he had a 1006 ops.He missed last year,but the year before that with Houston his ops was 888.Bottom line is when he is healthy enough to be in a lineup he has proven to be a far better hitter than anyone we currently possess.Now that he is healthy enough to play we just need to get him in the lineup regularly to prove it.

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What I think Pujols should do...

Split time equally behind the plate. Meluskey catches for a week while Rivera DH then the next week Rivera catches while Meluskey DH. That way both sees about the same amount of plate appearances and the same amount of time behind the plate.

But what about Simon, Young, and Fick? I want to see all those 3 in the lineup and get their ABs too. Is it worth having bad defense at 3rd and putting Young their so Simon plays first and Fick stays in RF? Paquette has been hitting pretty well lately too but if Halter slumps again, we can throw the bum on the bench and put Paquette at SS or 2nd and move Jackson/Easley to SS.

Or... put Higgy in CF, Young in LF, Fick in RF, Simon at 1st. A possible solution, maybe?

Also, I'm quite convinced Pena will win ROY. He is probably the best first basemen in the AL right now, let alone the best rookie. The A's aren't missing Giambi with him around.

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Paquette hasn't impressed me much defensively at third,so I think short would be a bad place for him and Easley hits better and is also a better fielder than Paquette,so second is out as well if Easley is healthy.I think ultimately Simon is the odd man out.Palmer ain't coming back anytime soon so Paquette stays at third.Fick stays in right and Young stays at first.Simon can only play first and is not a better hitter than Young as far as obp goes.Defensively Paquette would be better than Young at third,and both Young and Paquette are getting paid alot to be sitting on the bench.Simon can still be valuable as a pinch hitter or platoon type hitter,but he just won't ever have a high enough obp to hold an every day job and he is limited defensively.If he could be plugged in other parts of the field to help get him at bats it would be different,but he is strictly a first baseman/DH, and the DH spot will get ate up by the Meluskey/Rivera/Palmer group.

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Pena will probably be an excellent player, but to say that he's already the best first baseman in the AL is a stretch, unless you're talking about defense alone. He and Olerud are a cut above everyone else in the field.

As for the lineup crunch, it should be this hard for a 3-13 team to find its good hitters ABs, should it? But are talent is not evenly spread over the field. We have two viable hitters at C, two at 1B, one at each of the corner OF spots, with no one in the middle infield and CF (although I am of the mindset that Torres will be at least decent once he logs more ABs and Halter will come around eventually.)

Personally, I would ride out Simon's hot streak and then put him back on the bench. I like him, but he's never walks and he likely won't keep his newfound power a whole lot longer. He's an excellent sub, but playing him everyday is porbably not a good idea.

If Pujols refuses to Dh his backup catcher, I would send Rivera to Toledo. Yes, he's had a good start and racked up some RBIs, but he's looked awful almost as often as he's looked excellent. Meluskey is way too valuable to get the same number of ABs as Tom Prince does.

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I agree that Rivera should be played every day. I've never really believed in Meluskey. Maybe he has a decent OBP pctg. but his fielding history is not that good at all. I'm simply not impressed with what I see in Meluskey, and I really like what I see in Rivera.

Rookie of the Year - HELL YEAH!

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I hate that both Meluskey and Rivera are not playing every day.

Rivera is young, but his bat is speaking,

Meluskey has a history of being a solid hitter, with a great OBP and super clutch hitting.

I liked the earlier mention of Catch one and DH the other and alternate weeks.

Hey, If your concerned about Meluskey's shoulder than Make it 3 days and build it up to a week.

Bottom line is switching back and forth., day to day is not good for finding a groove.

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Rivera hasn't done anything to show me that he's any better than Meluskey defensively. I'd tend to believe that they've both been better than expected so far, and Meluskey's arm seems much stronger than his reputation would suggest.

As I've said before, I hope Pujols backs off from his decision to sit the backup catcher instead of DHing him. I'm not optimistic, though.

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Shoot, the way the season has been going it's nice we have the problem of having 2 catchers that seem to be good enough to play.

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Pena - 63 AB, 8 runs, 17 hits, 6 HR, .603 SLG, .270 BA, 14 RBI

Sweeny - 54 AB, 8 runs, 19 hits, 1 HR, .481 SLG, .352 BA, 8 RBI

Giambi - 72 AB, 11 runs, 19 hits, 3 HR, .431 SLG, .264 BA, 9 RBI

Konerko - 71 AB, 9 runs, 25 hits, 3 HR, .535 SLG, .352 BA, 21 RBI

Palmeiro - 69 AB, 8 runs, 21 hits, 4 HR, .629 SLG, .304 BA, 14 RBI

Delgado - 52 AB, 17 runs, 19 hits, 5 HR, .750 SLG, .365 BA, 15 RBI

Olerud - 57 AB, 12 runs, 19 hits, 4 HR, .579 SLG, .333 BA, 10 RBI

Alright, so Pena's BA and OBP (which I forgot to include) is pretty low but he is getting the job done in clutch situations and is hitting for power. He's probably the best defensively.

He might not be the best 1st basemen in the AL now but he is among the best. If he develops better plate patience and can hit for average, he'll be the best 1st baseman. He's only a rookie and can improve those stats.

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Or what could happen Justin is that pitchers will eventually figure out his weak points and start exploiting them.New hitters can sometimes get off to hot starts because the pitchers at the beginning are playing trial and error to figure out what it takes to get him out.If he is still putting up big numbers a few months from now then he is probably going to have a good season.It will be interesting to watch the adjustments Pena makes once pitchers discover his weak spot and how quickly he makes changes.I'm sure he will do well as I've heard lots of good things about him,but the first year for most players is filled with ups and downs.

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Since last year I felt Rivera wasn't getting the due respect he deserved from the organization.

It's still way too early to say he's going to finish the season with a .300 average (or even finish it in the Major Leagues) but he's looked very good up to this point and SHOULD be playing every day. Why he isn't is beyond me.

All the guy has done throughout his career has become an All-star at his position every other year at the level he was playing at. Why the Tigers didn't have a higher opinion of him really has me baffled. :confused:

This was the year that we owed Rivera the chance to succeed or fail. So far it looks like he's succeeding, despite not getting the playing time he really deserves. Get this guy in the everyday lineup so we can really see what he can do.

This is one of the few positives of the season thus far.

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Pena showed good patience in the minors and will show it in the majors eventually. His MLE's the last two years put him at around an .880 OPS, and that is pretty reasonable to expect from him for a full year. Not the best in baseball but above average for a 1B. He also is very yuong and has alot of room to develop. I'd expect either he or Nick Johnson to win the ROTY this year.

Meluskey absolutely has to be given an opportunity at some point this year to play every day. If he isn't the Tigers have made a huge mistake. I like Rivera and am happy with how he's doing so far, but Oujols has to get creative and find a way to get Meluskey AB's, even if it means sending someone down and bringing in another catcher.

It should also be noted that even if Meluskey is at DH, both Halter and Fick can fill in at catcher in an emergency.

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All the guy has done throughout his career has become an All-star at his position every other year at the level he was playing at. Why the Tigers didn't have a higher opinion of him really has me baffled.

I don't think it is so much as the Tigers not having faith in Rivera, but look at the numbers.

They have both crushed the ball in the minors, not just Rivera

Meluskey hit over .350 in both AA and AAA, and also has a full season in the majors with great numbers.

The team traded for him and it was his job last year until he got injured.

I personaly think that they should both bat everyday.

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Rivera doubled and scored on the Higginson homer...He is now batting .333 (11 for 33) with 1 homer 7RBI. He has played very well at catcher so far. I think Meluskey is a decent hitter who doesnt strikeout like Rivera but Rivera hit 30 plus homer and drove in 100 plus at Erie last year. Both players are young. Meluskey needs to hit every day to see what he has at DH until Palmer is back. Then we can always trade Meluskey if he is hitting well.....we need a third baseman..

CF Torres and RF Fick and LF Higginson look good

SS INfante 2b Salazar 1b D. Young...no problems yet

3b Paquette is ok but strikesout too much with 10-15 homer power only.

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Jersey Tiger,

I really wasn't trying to rip Mitch with that posting. I remember a few years ago when I started following the minor leagues more closely here because of Mel and since about then Rivera's name never came up as a prospect at catcher. I'd would love to look in the Tigers scouting books to see why they never really seemed to embrace the guy. That's about it.

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I did not take it as a rip into Meluskey.

Hey, I think most of us are fans of both.

Looks like Rivera will be getting most of the chances for a least this week.

If they go with Mike at C then I really feel Mitch should get some solid DH work.

My guess is they are both ment to be in the big show, so why not play both and trade one for some pitching or a 3rd baseman.

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ROY

Rivera is hitting .280 (14 for 50) after getting 2 hits last night. The boy can hit. He reminds me of Lance Parrish. He should hit 20 homers this year.

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As much as I like Mitch Meluskey, the guy has to stay healthy before he can lay claim to the catching duties. Mike Rivera has beaten him out for the position at the moment - but he will slump during the season, and it will be up to Meluskey to prove his worth, and claim the catching spot.

Randall Simon has done nothing but mash the ball his whole career. Sure he is hot at the moment, and I'm not really confident with him being our clean-up hitter, but this guy has earned his spot. How can you take what Rivera has done so far this season and predict great things, but then totally take away everything Simon has done and written him off as a bench player?

I haven't been the biggest fan of Randall Simon in the past, but this guy has got game. Yes he doesn't walk, but he doesn't strike out either - he gets the bat on the ball and makes things happen. Hindsight being 20/20, I wonder if the Tigers would make the trade for Dimitri Young. I understand that Young hasn't hit a groove yet, but Simon is a very similar player, better defensively and is a helluva lot cheaper.

Of course it is a nice problem to have, choosing between two solid players, it only makes our team better. If only we had that "problem" with the rest of our line-up - especially CF and 2B.

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