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Leyland sticking with Thames, for now

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Leyland sticking with Thames, for now

With Casey scuffling, reserve starts again and adds two more RBIs

Tom Gage / The Detroit News

http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070601/SPORTS0104/706010375/1129

CLEVELAND -- Marcus Thames was in the starting lineup Thursday, Sean Casey was out -- and it wasn't just because left-hander C.C. Sabathia was starting for the Indians.

It also was that way Wednesday against Tampa Bay right-hander James Shields.

The reason is offense.

"It's an attempt to get some production in the lineup," manager Jim Leyland said Thursday, before the Tigers' 11-5 loss. "The fact of the matter is that Casey hasn't produced anything."

Thames has 90 fewer at-bats, yet has two more RBIs -- thanks to the two RBIs he had on two hits against Sabathia.

"When Marcus hits it, something happens," Leyland said. "I love Sean Casey, and he's going to play. But if Casey isn't hitting, I'm going to play Marcus. That's just the way it is. I need to get some thunder in there."

In 161 at-bats, Casey has no home runs. Thames has four.

"I've been thinking about it," said Casey, who had five homers in 184 at-bats for Detroit last year. "It bothers me. I'd be lying if I said it didn't. But when you go out and try to hit home runs, that's when you never hit them."

And the low RBI total?

"That bothers me, but not as much," said Casey, who doubled in his at-bat Thursday. "I had a bad first month and have been playing catch-up in a lot of categories. I understand playing Marcus. He deserves to play, too."

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So now we have a guy with lower on base percentage, lower average and a weak glove. Our season is saved!!!!

I see absolutely no improvement here. Another free swinger is not what our line-up needs. You don't win games on solo home runs and strike outs.

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I agree this is not a significant improvement. I don't think Marcus Thames is an everyday player, but is best suited in a platoon role at best, and as a RH bat off the bench against LH specifically. I see this move as an effort to recognize a problem and try to shake things up.

I can't imagine we won't make a move to shore up 1B in July.

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If Casey isn't hitting any homers, it takes him a long time to get around the bases. A singles hitter who can't run at first base? Need some pop.

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I see absolutely no improvement here.

Because you're singling out the stats that support your position. Why ignore slugging? At least Thames can post an .800 OPS. This isn't the answer to our problems, but it is an upgrade.

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If Casey isn't hitting any homers, it takes him a long time to get around the bases. A singles hitter who can't run at first base? Need some pop.

I agree. I don't think anyone is confusing Thames for Albert Pujols here, but Casey has provided next to nothing this year. The fact that Thames has driven in more runs and hit more HR's than Casey in a good 90 less AB's doesn't suggest Thames is a great player, its an indictment on the worthlessness of Casey. It's one thing to sacrifice offense for a great glove at a spot like 2B or even SS, but since when has a team sacrificed offensive production in order to flash a nice glove at 1B??

I can handle Thames K's so long as he can mix in some pop to the order. It beats watching Casey hit weak grounders to the right side of the infield 4 times a night.

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I can't imagine we won't make a move to shore up 1B in July.

Hopefully the starting pitching gets better and the bullpen is addressed or else getting a first baseman this year will just be a waste.

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I'm for this move for at least a little while. One thing with Thames is that you have to ride hot streaks with him and he seems like he's seeing the ball well. Shake it up for a week.

I don't care if Casey doesn't hit many dingers, but the run produciton is killer. 11 RBI's from your 1b is a killer at this point in the season. He's a line drive/ground ball hitter with no speed who clogs the bases and seems to hit into a lot of DP's. I would also leave toward Thames not being an every day player but he hasn't proven that one way or the other yet. Use Casey as a pinch-hitter and defensive sub for a while until Thames proves he's not a better option - it's time to give him a shot.

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Thames is a streak hitter who can do a lot of damage when he gets hot like he did for a couple of months last summer. Casey hit about as well as he's going to hit in May and he still wasn't productive. Thames is not a long term solution but I'll take Thames over Casey.

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You don't win games on solo home runs and strike outs.

You won't win them on strikeouts but you can win them on homeruns - solo or otherwise.

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You won't win them on strikeouts but you can win them on homeruns - solo or otherwise.

Thank you, Mr. James.:glasses:

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Thames will lose us more games with his glove than Casey or he could win with their bats.

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This is excellent news.

It is more likely a lateral move than excellent news. Perhaps a Thames hot streak will come and make it a good short term move, but I am not holding my breath expecting anything more.

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Thames will lose us more games with his glove than Casey or he could win with their bats.

A very distinct possibility.

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The only thing excellent about it is that Leyland's realized Casey is bad.

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Hopefully the starting pitching gets better and the bullpen is addressed or else getting a first baseman this year will just be a waste.

That hit the nail on the head. While we can poo-poo about first base all we want, the real problem is a team that can't stop the bleeding. I never pictured the Tigers pitching could be this bad.

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Thames will lose us more games with his glove than Casey or he could win with their bats.

Having a human statue over there wasn't doing us much good either. I'll take our chances with his bat over Casey's glove.

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The only thing excellent about it is that Leyland's realized Casey is bad.

That's probably true.

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The only thing excellent about it is that Leyland's realized Casey is bad.
Hopefully Leyland has a realization about Mesa sometime soon.

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The only thing excellent about it is that Leyland's realized Casey is bad.

This was exactly my mindset. Especially when Leyland said "The fact of the matter is that Casey hasn't produced anything."

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Hopefully Leyland has a realization about Mesa sometime soon.

I'm half expecting him to get released any day now.

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I'm half expecting him to get released any day now.

I think he'll be gone when Rodney returns next week.

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