Paul Wezner, Executive Editor
Since his call up a week ago, Quintin Berry has excited a fan base desperate for excitement, taking walks, hitting at a very good clip with a .360 average, and putting his impressive speed on display, including a circus over the shoulder leaping catch that will get plenty of play among the best catches of the year for many months to come. Suffice it to say, you couldn't have asked for a better start out of Berry. While the original plan might have been to send him back down when Austin Jackson is ready to return from the disabled list, the reality is that this team has been struggling to find offense through the first two months, and so long as Berry is providing it, he needs to stay with the big league club. The reality is that longer term, he's at best a late inning defensive replacement and pinch runner, but there's no good reason to send him down or take him out of the lineup while he's hitting and scoring runs. As for whose place he'll take, while some people will clamor for all sorts of players, it really comes down to only two; Ryan Raburn and Danny Worth. If the decision is that his speed and defense can help late in games as is his best case role for the 2012 season, the Tigers are better off keeping Berry and sending Worth back to Toledo, where at least he can play every day as opposed to the once a week he's playing now. If however, they plan on continuing to put him in the lineup on a regular basis, the only option is to open up a roster spot for regular playing time, and that means optioning Raburn to Toledo (until they're no longer able to when he achieves five years of service time on June 8th).
Mark Anderson, Managing Editor
If Quintin Berry is still hitting and contributing to the team, then the Tigers don't really have a choice. On the whole, the offense hasn't performed as expected and as a result, any spark to the lineup must be cherished. When Austin Jackson returns, there are still at least a couple of outfield options that aren't performing, including Delmon Young, Ryan Raburn and Brennan Boesch. If Berry can help ignite the offense with some on-base ability and speed at the top or bottom with Jackson and/or Andy Dirks, then the Tigers have to consider keeping him around and keeping him in the lineup with some regularity. At worst, he helps provide some speed and improved defense in late-game situations. The Tigers have the ability to send Danny Worth to the minor leagues and for a limited time, they can do the same with Ryan Raburn. That gives them the flexibility to keep Berry until -- or rather if -- he stops performing; something they should absolutely do.
Chris Vannini, Senior Staff Writer
I've considered myself one of the few Raburn defenders this season, but the emerge of Berry as a solid player provides the Tigers with some options — literally. Bad luck or not, Raburn has no confidence when he's at the plate, or in the field. I still believe Raburn will turn it around in the second half, but why wait until then? He should be sent to Toledo to get some confidence. We've seen what he can do when he's on, which is why the Tigers have been holding on to him. Maybe a stint in Toledo will give him a boost. It's worth a shot instead of just waiting for it to happen again. Berry provides some solid defense and speed in a lineup that still doesn't have much with Jackson. Berry isn't any sort of long-term solution, but he's on a bit of a hot streak and can put pressure on the defense when he gets on base. The Tigers should try to stick with this little change while it's working.
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