Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Welcome to the Bigs, Andy!
First of all, Andy is 25, a "baby" as Jim Leyland affectionately called him, and has been a beast who can actually hit for power in triple A. He had six home runs with the Mud Hens, and had a SLG of .527 in 145 plate appearances.. It wouldn't hurt to have another outfielder who can hit for power, especially since he is replacing the battered and broken Magglio Ordonez, who has hit for basically nothing this year. As much as we love Maggs, it was time for him to go to the DL, and hopefully, Andy can amaze us, as Brennan did last year, by hitting and fielding like a real big-leaguer.
Although he wasn't anything spectacular in his first game, it was great to watch him run around and giggle and smile and be generally adorable. It's pretty fun to watch people play their first game in the bigs, and Andy was no exception, smiling and laughing whenever he caught a fly ball. It must have been a real treat for his parents and girlfriend (sigh) since they were all at the park today, which is just the cutest most happy thing ever. He's a "country boy," which means that Ryan Raburn will finally have a friend! Not only that, but he had one of the four tigers hits of the day. It's nice to see that he got his first big league hit in his first big league game because now that he's gotten it out of the way, he can continue hitting in the games to come!
In terms of his future with the Tigers, we here at April in the D actually think he has one. Laura watched him belt a walk-off in Spring Training, so we know the kind of power he has. The only question is whether he can hit big league pitching, which remains to be seen. If he can, then we think he could most definitely contribute. Maybe he's not a Miguel Cabrera (okay, yeah, definitely he's not a Miguel Cabrera), but it is definitely within his potential to be a solid Ryan Raburn or Brennan Boesch in the outfield (with better fielding skills), and he could be more than that too. Then again, you can never tell with these rookies, and the three of us also are in love with Clete Thomas (a perennial minor-leaguer). All we know is, with Maggs hitting the way he was hitting, Andy has nowhere to go but up!
Let's ignore the ugliness of our loss, and the supreme ugliness of Benoit's pitching, and just bask in the warm happy glow of a 25-year-old kid who just had his childhood dreams come true. Also, we're actually not going to worry to much about this loss (even those blasted Indians won again, too bad they haven't played anyone legit yet) because of the ridiculous win streak we've been on. Hopefully we turn it around tomorrow and get some offense going! Keep your eyes on Andy Dirks, because we actually see big things from him.
P.S. VOTE AVILA (and Verlander and Cabrera, obviously) FOR THE ALL-STAR GAME!