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Unexpected Twist in Detroit Lions’ Kicker Saga at OTAs

The Detroit Lions may have their kicker for 2024.

Detroit Lions OTAs: Jared Goff and Hendon Hooker struggle

The quarterbacks struggled at Detroit Lions OTAs.

Detroit Pistons decide on new Team President

The Detroit Pistons have a new team president to work with Troy Weaver and Monty Williams.

No Bench for Báez: A.J. Hinch Confirms Continued Playtime

Despite recent struggles on the field, Detroit Tigers manager A.J. Hinch has reiterated his commitment to keeping shortstop Javier Báez in the lineup. Báez, who signed a six-year, $140 million deal with the Tigers in December 2021, has underperformed expectations, maintaining a meager .167 batting average with just one home run in the initial 37 games of the 2024 season. Additionally, his performance has declined over the past three seasons, as indicated by his dropping on-base-plus-slugging percentage, which currently stands at .422.

“He’s going to play, a lot,” – A.J Hinch

Freep.com

Manager Hinch emphasized the importance of continued play for Báez despite his challenges. “Offensively, no at-bats is not going to be the answer. He’s got to keep getting his rhythm and timing, and hopefully getting in a position to produce offensively. That’s the goal,” Hinch said. He acknowledged the defensive skills that Báez brings to the team, even though Báez has recorded a minus-1 in defensive runs saved so far.

Javier Báez

“We’ve got to try to find a way to get more out of him,” Hinch said before Monday’s game, the Tigers’ 40th of 42 games. “Defensively, he’s doing great still, will have an occasional misstep here or there. Offensively, no at-bats is not going to be the answer. He’s got to keep getting his rhythm and timing and hopefully getting in a position to produce offensively. That’s the goal.” – Freep

Even though Triple-A Toledo shortstops Ryan Kreidler and Eddys Leonard are expected back from injuries by June, there are no current plans to replace Báez or change his role significantly. With Hinch’s reassurance of Báez’s heavy involvement in upcoming games, the team is evidently hoping that consistent playtime will see an upturn in his performance.

This continuous play strategy underlines the team’s approach to handle Báez’s $140 million contract carefully, betting on his recovery back to form as the season progresses.

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Jeff Bilbrey
Jeff Bilbreyhttps://detroitsportsnation.com/
Founder of Detroit Sports Nation - Jeff Bilbrey manages the day to day operations of Detroit Sports Nation as well as all content delivery systems, ad networks and social platforms. Email him at [email protected]

Unexpected Twist in Detroit Lions’ Kicker Saga at OTAs

The Detroit Lions may have their kicker for 2024.

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