With Game 1 of the Washington Nationals vs. Detroit Tigers series getting rained out Tuesday night in Washington D.C., I would like to catch up on a few things. Things are a little crazy right now with the kickoff of youth baseball. I struggle to find time to coach not one, not two, but three little league teams and still cover all the Detroit sports action there is out there. Around here, at Detroit Sports 360, we like a challenge or 10 and this is surely a big challenge of my time management skills. Challenge accepted – father time.
So the Tigers just completed a four game sweep of the Houston Astros. In a series that really amounted to little more than batting practice for the Motor City Kitties – at least over the last two games that is. The first two games show a team that gets really hot and really cold at times. The first two games in Houston had me very concerned but the last few games show what this high octane offense can really do.
There is a lot to like about this team, and there is a not a lot to complain about. It is not 35-5 but it is a hotter start than we are use to over the last couple of seasons. So as it stands, the Tigers are 19-11, and have a full game lead over the second place Kansas City Royals. The series against the Washington Nationals is a good measuring stick to see exactly where this team is at when they play tougher competition than the payroll starved Astros.
Miguel Cabrera- This guy is scary good. What does a guy do after winning the first American League Triple Crown in 45 years? Well, he goes out there and makes it look easy. Miggy is hitting .385, six home runs and an unreal 36 RBI through 30 games. He is flat out amazing and with improved play at third base, he may be the best player of this generation. Miguel is a no doubt lock to be in the hall of fame one day and he may be just now entering his prime.
The Starting Rotation- It really looks like the Tigers have three, if not four, legit contenders for the AL Cy Young award. Even with a not so reliable bullpen behind them, the staff ERA is an AL third best at 3.36. The staff has struck out 310 batters, good enough for second in the AL, and has given up the fewest home runs at just 16.
Joaquin Benoit- Benoit has been the bright spot in the pen. He has four holds. In 14 innings pitched he has given up just 8 hits and 7 walks. All while striking out 17. That is more than a strike out per inning.
Victor Martinez- I hate to pick on Victor because he was really swinging he bat well in Houston, of course my t-ball team could probably swing the bat well against that competition. However, as the DH, Victor is hitting .220 and sure his value is really getting Miggy and Prince Fielder better pitches to hit but we would like to see some more production out of Victor.
Alex Avila- Alex is hitting just .193. That isn’t quite good enough. Four homers and six RBI’s out of a guy deep in the batting order isn’t a disaster but again we would like to see the numbers start to climb at some point.
The Don Kelly
Don’s value to the team is being the 25th guy on the roster who can be a late inning replacement at numerous positions. Tigers’ fans often fail to see the logic in having a guy like that on the bench and when he is hitting just .189, it is hard to defend him taking up a complete roster spot.
- DS360 Tigers headlines
- Is there a right time to trade Miguel Cabrera
- Should Tigers fans hate Don Kelly?