Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder have anchored the lineup, and aside from some early season struggles, the dynamic duo has performed as expected. Yet, on many occasions this year, Jim Leyland has reminded all that will listen that his team is not scoring enough runs. The lineup simply has not had enough depth.
The Tigers are 8th in the American League in runs scored and homers and 10th in walks. On too many occasions, the pitching staff has operated will minimal support.
While the main guns in the middle have carried much of the load, it is clear that the extra pieces that made the Tigers a dangerous offense in the second half last year have not supported Cabrera and Fielder nearly enough in 2012.
Alex Avila, Brennan Boesch and Jhonny Peralta have struggled to match last season’s numbers. Below is a comparison of their numbers through June 4, 2011 and 2012.
Avila .254-5-20 .275-8-31
Boesch .229-5-19 .259-5-27
Peralta .247-4-16 .320-8-31
Leyland is also fond of citing track records and the hope is that the rest of the offense can match its pace of last season. Injuries to Austin Jackson and Andy Dirks in recent weeks have not helped the cause, especially since Jackson was off to a torrid start and Dirks settled into the two hole nicely.
A return to form for Avila, Boesch and Peralta would lend a spark a disappointing start.