2011 TigsTown Player Capsule: Don Kelly

Kelly received a lot of playing time in 2011

Kept on the roster to be a super-utility player in 2011, Don Kelly ended up with a much larger role as others struggled. Will that continue into 2012?

Don Kelly

Five Numbers That Sum Up The Season

BA

OPS+

Pos. Played

vs. RHP OPS

3B UZR/150

.245

83

7

.698

3.3


What It All Means

Kelly was initially kept on the roster as the 25th man that could play just about anywhere on the diamond, and he did do that, appearing at seven positions in 2011, including both on the mound and behind the plate. However, the struggles of Brandon Inge led to an increased role for Kelly at third base, where he held his own with solid defense and mediocre offense. Kelly was below average overall, but a posted a decent average, and an OPS of almost .700 when he was facing right-handers. There won't be confusing Kelly as a long-term solution there, but in a season in which the Tigers already had a number of other guys step up on offense, Kelly just needed to hold his own when he got the chance, and he did.

What Does the Future Hold

As of now, the Tigers haven't done anything to shore up third base, meaning that the Tigers would go into spring with Inge and Kelly as their third base duo once again. This probably is not an ideal solution, and the Tigers may still look to upgrade, but for now, this is the best they've got. So, Kelly may continue to be used more as a platoon third baseman than as a super-utility player, but that will be based more out of need than anything.

Contract Status

Kelly enters his first year of arbitration, and will get a raise from the league minimum $423,000 he made last year.

All statistics are provided by Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs.com, with all contract information thanks to Cot's Contracts.

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