Detroit Tigers left fielder Matt Tuiasosopo is playing at a very high level through the first two and a half months of the 2013 MLB season. In fact, he has never performed this well at the plate in his entire career. For that reason, the Tigers must consider starting him in left field more instead of just using him as a platoon.
Starting left fielder Andy Dirks is not carrying his own weight on offense. The left-handed batter is hitting .237 with five home runs and 20 RBI in 215 at-bats this season. When matched up against Tuiasosopo’s .338 batting average, three home runs, 17 RBI and seven doubles in 71 at-bats, many fans would agree that he needs to see less playing time.
Tuiasosopo was placed on the 25-man roster to strictly hit against left-handed pitchers. However, the fact that he has been coming through against right-handed pitchers is proof that he is ready to take on a bigger role. The right-handed batter is hitting .333 with two homers and 10 RBI and four doubles in 27 at-bats against righties. For those keeping track, his power numbers are actually better against right-handed pitchers than they are against lefties.
The problem right now is that Detroit manager Jim Leyland is not 100 percent convinced Tuiasosopo is ready to be a full-time starter.
“If Dirks, who has been struggling, [continues to struggle], maybe you might consider it — putting [Tuiasosopo] in there once in a while a little bit more,” Leyland said, according to Tigers.com. “I think that’s a very fair question. … I’m not ready to do that just yet.”
Hopefully, Leyland will come around soon so that the Tigers can start getting some consistent production out of their left fielder.