Friday, November 30, 2012

#261 1982 Detroit Tigers

Disclaimer: The Tigers are my home team and thus rewarded with a lengthy post.
The 1982 Tigers won 83 games and finished in 4th place in the AL East.  It might be a bit of bit of a surprise to see Larry Herndon and Dan Petry as the Tigers leaders.  You may have expected to see Lou Whitaker or Alan Trammell here and many would have guessed Jack Morris to lead the team in ERA.  Well Herndon did lead the team with his .292 average and was also tops on the team with 88 RBI.  Lance Parrish bashed 32 HR, best of all Bengal batters in '82.  Morris' 4.06 ERA was actually the worst of the Tigers' four main starting pitchers in '82, but he was a workhorse if nothing else, topping the squad in wins (17), complete games (17), starts (37), innings (266), and strikeouts(135).  Petry had a fine year with 15 wins in 36 starts while tossing 246 innings at just age 23.

Flipside:  25 players and Manager Sparky Anderson were included in this set.  As of right now Anderson is the only Hall of Famer of the bunch, although Morris has garnered support in recent years as has Trammell to some degree.  Whitaker, who is more deserving than either, fell off the ballot a few years ago.
Dave Rozema got a card despite missing most of the year and pitching only 27 innings.  Rookie Larry Pashnick hurled 94 frames but was snubbed. 
The Starting Nine:
C: Lance Parrish
1B: Enos Cabell
2B: Lou Whitaker
SS: Alan Trammell
3B: Tom Brookens
LF: Larry Herndon
CF: Glenn Wilson / Kirk Gibson
RF: Chet Lemon
DH: Mike Ivie / Jerry Turner
It's surprising to see the Wilson / Gibson platoon manning CF with Lemon in right.  Lemon still had plus range and would return to CF in '83.  Although Wilson was a fine outfielder and young Gibson could fly, neither was the defender of Lemon's caliber. 

Backstop Lance Parrish had perhaps his finest year batting .284/.338/.529, while gunning out 46% of runners who tried to steal.  Senior Circuit veteran Enos Cabell was a new addition to the team and put up a meager 67 OPS+ at first base.  Of course Whitaker and Trammell were stationed up the middle with Sweet Lou batting .286/341/.434.  Tram led the team with 19 steals but had an off year and was not as productive with the stick batting just .258.  Brookens manned the hot corner but had just a 72 OPS+ while a young Howard Johnson batted .316/.384/.426 in 54 games and pushed for playing time.
Versatile Johnny Wockenfuss backed up Parrish, Cabell, played some outfield, and batted .310 with a 136 OPS+.   Veteran corner man Richie Hebner had a 120+ OPS in part time work but the Tigers preferred the younger but less productive Rick Leach (.330 slugging) and Jerry Turner (.376 slugging).  Hebner was sold to the Pirates in August.  Mike Ivie had some pop with 14 HR in 259 at bats but really a one tool player.
Herndon, the only outfielder to play more than 125 games, streaked around the bases for a team high 13 triples.  As mentioned Wilson (111 OPS+) and Gibson (114) provided a youthful CF platoon.  Lemon shifted to RF, hit .266 with 19 HR in 436 at bats while Lynn Jones backed up with a woeful 43 OPS+. 
Overall it was a balanced offense that finished 7th out of 14 AL teams in runs scored, 4th in HR, and 7th in stolen bases.
Pitching Staff:
SP     Jack Morris       37 GS
SP     Dan Petry          35 GS
SP     Milt Wilcox      29 GS
SP     Jerry Udjur       25 GS
P       Pat Underwood 33 G/12 GS
P       Larry Pashnick 28 G/13 GS
RP     Dave Tobik       98 IP
RP     Dave Rucker    64 IP
RP     Elias Sosa          61 IP
RP     Aurelio Lopez   41 IP
RP     Kevin Saucier  40 IP
Despite having the third youngest staff in the AL, this group led the league in ERA at 3.80.  Sparky jockeyed the pitchers back and forth between a four and five man rotation all year, but he seemed to push the right buttons.  The top four starters were reliable, each winning double digits with ERA’s from 3.22 to 4.06. 
The bullpen was a mess as Lopez struggled with effectiveness (5.27 ERA) and spent part of the year at AAA.  Tobik (1.25 WHIP) topped the team with nine saves.  Saucier and Rucker were effective lefties with ERA+'s of 131 and 120.  Sosa gave up 11 HR in 61 innings which jacked his ERA to 4.43.  Underwood and Pashnick were unremarkable as they bounced from the rotation to the pen. 

1 comment:

  1. Jack Morris . . . not as good in actuality as you'd want to remember? Noooo.