Motown blues for Huff?


Just because your league’s trade deadline may have passed
doesn’t mean the big boys are done dealing.


The Orioles traded Aubrey Huff to the Tigers on Monday for
Minor League righty Casey Jacobsen, rated the organization’s No. 10 prospect by
Baseball America.


Keep in mind this is isn’t the same Aubrey Huff of 2008, when
he boasted a .304 average, 32 homers and a career-high 108 RBIs. This Aubrey
Huff heads to Detroit hitting just .253 with 13 homers, 72 RBIs and a .405
slugging percentage — in other words, a middling run producer.


The larger issue is leaving behind Oriole Park at Camden
Yards, where he’s thrived through the years, taking advantage of the short right-field
porch en route to a career .506 slugging percentage. That’s a far cry from the
mediocre .405 mark he owns at pitcher-friendly Comerica Park.


The one major thing working in his favor is the presence of
super-slugger Miguel Cabrera, who Huff will likely wind up protecting as the
cleanup hitter, providing some punch from the left side with Magglio Ordonez
batting behind him. That only helps Huff’s chances of reaching the century mark
in RBIs. So while the move probably does little to reverse his sagging power
numbers, at least his run production won’t fall apart. Look for Huff to DH and
play left field, eating into the playing time of Carlos Guillen and Clete


Back in Baltimore, one veteran run producer likely replaces
another, with Ty Wigginton likely taking over first base in Huff’s place.
Remember, Wiggy went off last August with a .379 average, 12 homers and 26
RBIs, and after serving as a utilityman all year, you can be sure he’ll be
plenty motivated to do so again.


–Alex Cushing,

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