With as powerful an everyday lineup as the Tigers possess, it would appear as though a competent no. 9 hitter is considered a luxury. At least that’s the stance seemingly taken by manager Jim Leyland. From the Detroit Free Press’ Jon Paul Morosi.
Neifi Perez, hitting .156 since joining the Tigers, has become a subject of popular debate since his arrival two weeks ago. Omar Infante, meanwhile, is batting .294, and well above .300 while playing second base, where Perez has made most of the starts since Placido Polanco’s shoulder injury.
Leyland provided a simple explanation for Friday’s decision — “Omar’s swung the bat halfway decent lately, and Neifi’s got a bad wrist,” he said — and questioned the public’s recent fascination with his second basemen.
“These guys making a big deal about Neifi Perez and Omar Infante don’t know what they’re talking about,” Leyland said. “They got no clue.
“If we think our offense is going to be carried by Neifi Perez or Omar Infante for the last month and win the pennant, we’re out of our minds. That’s not a criticism. They’re contributing-type players. They’re very good at it. We need them. But if we’re looking for them to be the key, to lead us offensively, I would have to disagree.”