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Don Kelly: A Detroit Tiger Disaster

DETROIT - JULY 02: Don Kelly #33 of the Detroit Tigers hits a ground rule double in the second inning scoring two runs during the game against the Seattle Mariners on July 2, 2010 at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leon Halip/Getty Images
Blake VandeBunteContributor IAugust 6, 2010

Living way out here in Connecticut, I know that my finger is not on the pulse of what Tiger fans are thinking as much as it was when I lived in Michigan.  However, I feel pretty confident that I am not the only one out there that thinks Don Kelly is a complete and total disaster. 

Why is this guy even on the club?

Let’s take a look at his 2010 season so far and see if we can find any justification for keeping this bag of bones around.  First, I’ll list the positives AND the reasons in which he may be on the roster to begin with—

  1. He can play around the diamond a little bit.  He can play the outfield and the infield and I suppose that is valuable.
  2. He is white.  People in Michigan love white people.
  3. Jim Leyland is head-over-heels in love with Don Kelly.

Now a few reasons not to play Don Kelly.  All factual—

  1. The Tigers are out of the chase and he is 30 years old.  As someone who will be 30 in less than a year, I feel for the guy.  30 is not old in the real world, but when you’re a lousy baseball player taking up space on a big league roster, you are ancient.
  2. His OPS+ this season is 35.  35!!!  I am certain there are pitchers with bigger bats.  In fact, of all players in baseball with at least 150 plate appearances this season, only two players in all of baseball have a lower OPS+ than poor Don Kelly.  Garrett Anderson and Brandon Wood are the two poor saps.
  3. Kelly possesses the power of a butterfly.  He has gone deep twice this season and is currently slugging a pitiful .279.  That mark is “bested” only by Wood and Luis Valbuena.
  4. He is taking up a roster spot.

That final point there is what grinds my gears the most.  The Tigers are now out of contention.  Time to cut Kelly loose.  The Tigers are not exactly stocked in the minors, but they may as well give some playing time to a guy in the minors and see what they have.  We all KNOW what they have in Don Kelly.

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