Leyland confident offense will snap funk soon

Leyland confident offense will snap funk soon

Leyland confident offense will snap funk soon
CHICAGO -- Characterize the Tigers as a scuffling offensive team?

No problem, says manager Jim Leyland, who said he agrees 100 percent.

And while the American League Central preseason favorites entered Monday's two-game set against the White Sox with a .500 record, Leyland disagrees with anyone who says the Tigers, as a whole, are struggling.

"I don't think we've been playing bad baseball at all. In fact, I think we've played very good," Leyland said before seeing his team drop to 17-18 with a 7-5 loss to the White Sox. "We haven't hit. We haven't scored runs. That's all I see."

Pitching, defense, baserunning. For the most part, they've been there this season for the Tigers, who began the day in second place and only one game behind the Indians.

But where's the much-hyped offense that was supposed to threaten to score 1,000 runs? Nowhere near on track to reach those lofty expectations, for sure, as the Tigers sit in the middle of the pack in the AL in all offensive categories.

Despite those struggles, Leyland remains confident in his team because of proven veterans like Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, Jhonny Peralta and others. And although Leyland noted his starting outfield trio and catcher Alex Avila are young, he said his players' track records are helping him get through this early drought.

Leyland has tried to jump-start his offense any way he can, such as attempting more hit-and-runs in hopes struggling hitters keep their heads on the ball longer, knowing they have to put the ball in play. But, as Leyland said, if the potent Tigers lineup has to rely on putting guys in motion to score runs for any stretch of time, it likely isn't a good sign.

It's just one of many things Leyland has to try, because the offense won't be cured overnight or with a snap of the fingers.

"When I say it's going to be OK, it's going to be OK. Are we good? Yeah, we're [darn] good," Leyland said. "We will be good, but that doesn't mean it's going to be easy. Don't ever think for one minute that it's going to be, because it's not. The players know that. And if they don't, they should know by now."