Thursday, March 23, 2006

2006 Preview: Detroit Tigers

The Detroit Tigers are one of the 6 remaining teams (other than the Astros) which have never hit Craig Biggio with a pitch. The Tigers only pitcher on staff currently who has hit Biggio with a pitch is Chad Durbin, who hit him twice in one game for the Royals. But, the interesting thing about this Tigers staff is that they have 4 left handed starters - Kenny Rogers, Mike Maroth, Nate Robertson and Wilfredo Ledezma. Biggio has been hit 218 times by right handers, but only 55 times by lefties. Maroth led the Tigers in plunks last year with 8, but Kenny Rogers had 9 for the Rangers. Robertson hit 7 batters in '05, and right-handed reliever Franklyn German hit 7. The Tigers only right handed starter, Jeremy Bonderman.
If the Tigers starters stay healthy, they could become just the 2nd team ever to have 4 different left-handed pitchers start 20 or more games. The other was the 1954 Washington Senators who had a lefty quartet of Mickey McDermott, Johnny Schmitz, Chuck Stobbs, and Dean Stone.

Since Craig Biggio has no track record of being hit by the Tigers, probabilities of his being plunked by them this year are not available in the manner over the other 2006 team previews. With only 3 games to get it done, it appears unlikely that the Tigers will become the 24th team to hit Craig Biggio with a pitch.

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