2010 TigsTown Player Capsule: Don Kelly

Ready to take a look back at the performers of 2010 and what's in store for them in 2011? Head inside to read the 2010 player capsules! Don Kelly wasn't quite an offensive force at the plate, but still stuck in Detroit all of last year.

Five Numbers That Sum Up The Season



Pos. Played








What It All Means

Don Kelly emerged in 2010 as the Tigers' 25th man, playing a variety of positions as a super sub for the club while being a below average hitter, pretty much across the board. His value was in his quality defense and the flexibility he afforded the team, being able to move around the outfield as well as provide defense at the corners in the infield, and play all of the spots well. That rolled up resulted in a 1.0 dWAR, showing his value in the field. The flip side is that his offensive WAR was in the negative, basically implying that the Tigers would have been better off with a run of the mill 4-A type player getting those at-bats. His defense and flexibility among positions was obviously an asset to the club, but was it valuable enough to warrant the number of at-bats he got?

What Does the Future Hold

Kelly will be in an interesting position when he joins the club for spring training in 2011. Despite holding down a job for the entirety of 2010, it's hard to make a case that he can't be upgraded given his limited offensive capabilities. And given how much the Tigers struggled at the plate, having a reserve unit that can hit is likely going to be paramount. In other words, despite his success, he's going to be fighting for a job when he heads to Lakeland in the spring. Whether or not he gets one likely will determined by other factors, including the sort of defensive flexibility manager Jim Leyland is looking for, along with how the rest of the off-season shakes out and if the Tigers add another bat. The more options the Tigers have, the better the possibility he ends up returning to Toledo.

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