Friday, January 20, 2012

Could Carlos Lee replace Victor Martinez

So by now you all know about Victor Martinez' likely season-ending ACL injury. This puts the Tigers in quite a pickle. They need a DH/1B to win the division, something the Tigers could very easily do. But now that's sort of up in the air. What about Prince Fielder? GM Dave Dombrowski said that he'd consider Fielder but he was "probably not a good fit," and that he expected Martinez to be ready to return to form for 2013.

So that leaves the Tigers with a short-term need at DH/1B. Jon Paul Morosi mentioned this morning that talks with the Tigers and Astros have not been "in depth" about Carlos Lee. Our question is, "Could Carlos Lee even replace Victor Martinez?"

Martinez hit .330/.380/.470 in 595 PAs in 2011 for the Tigers, with 12 homers and 103 RBI (if RBIs matter to you). That's a 29.2% XBH rate for Martinez. But he also had a .343 BABIP.

Carlos Lee, in 653 PAs for the Astros in 2011, hit .275/.342/.446, with 18 homers, 94 RBI, and a 37.3% XBH rate, but with a .279 BABIP.

Martinez, vs. LHP: .311/.363/.459
Carlos Lee, vs. LHP: .348/.413/.615

I can sit here and cherry pick stats to make it look like Carlos Lee is Babe Ruth, but if the Tigers want to come close to replacing Martinez' bat, and want to do it for 2012 only, then Carlos Lee - a middle-of-the-order hitter whose contract expires after the 2012 season - makes temporary blogger sense, especially if the Astros are willing to eat half of Lee's contract.

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