Game 20, Mariners at Tigers
Noesi vs Porcello, 10:05 am.
After hitting home runs in each of the team’s first two games in Detroit, you had to be pretty certain that Alex Liddi was going to find himself in the line-up once again. And, so, Kyle Seager gets another day off, with Liddi getting the start at third base again. I know there’s going to be some outcry about both Olivo and Figgins getting playing time while Seager sits – and trust me, I’d rather see Seager in there too – but the reality is that, for one game, it’s not a huge deal. For all the talk about Kyle Seager’s “strong start”, he’s not really doing any better than he did last year, producing at a slightly below average rate. He’s gotten even more aggressive, swinging at 52% of the pitches he’s been thrown, and as a result, he’s drawn just one walk in 61 plate appearances. For a low-power guy, that’s not good, and the Seager’s absence from the line-up isn’t going to cripple the team’s offense today.
Seager sitting while Figgins plays isn’t going to be a regular occurrence. When asked about Figgins this morning, Wedge said this:
“We’re still giving Figgins an opportunity, but he has to do it, simple as that. I mean, if he does, we’ll keep him in there. If not, we’ll make a change.”
Mike Carp’s lingering injury and struggles on his rehab assignment bought him a little bit of extra time, but the leash on Figgins is tightening, and the batting order excuse is out the window now. If Liddi keeps swinging the bat well, Figgins will find himself on the bench sooner than later. Even when Liddi cools off, Carp’s return is going to force someone out of the line-up more often, and right now, Figgins is the guy on the chopping block. He probably has a few days left to get hot and save his job, but he’s clearly on the chopping block.