And Cabrera didn’t just club three ordinary dingers. According to the ESPN Home Run Tracker, there were 22 homers on Sunday. The longest was hit by Miguel Cabrera. The second-longest was hit by Miguel Cabrera. The third-longest was hit by Miguel Cabrera. The fourth-longest wasn’t hit by Miguel Cabrera, but now you’re being greedy. All of the homers were similar, and all of the homers were significantly different.
A lot of fans were probably aghast when the Tigers made the decision to sign Jose Valverde to a speculative contract earlier this year. With the way his time in Detroit seemingly ended last October — blown saves and playoff implosions — it was easy to see their point.
A glance at early returns in this season gives the appearance the decision has turned out fine so far, yet a deeper look shows there may be storm clouds on the horizon.
Whether or not Peralta will continue to hit like this remains to be seen, but the Tigers will take his bat as long as he helps the team out.
Personally, I see Peralta’s average tailing off to around .280. However, it would be a huge improvement over last season (where he only hit .239) and would allow the Tigers not to use a valuable trade chip on a short-term shortstop.
The fact that we’re even having the conversation about Cabrera in just his sixth season in Detroit is absurd. But everything that Cabrera has been doing lately is absurd. He won the Triple Crown last season, which some baseball experts claimed was impossible given the depth of talent in the game. He’s leading in two of the three Crown categories this year, which has fueled talk that he could become the first man to ever repeat the feat. He’s trying to become the first right-handed hitter since Rogers Hornsby to win three consecutive batting titles. He’s hitting .387, which automatically makes you wonder if .400 is a possibility.
The Tigers allow 4.2 runs per game, barely better than the average of 4.3 runs per game. This clearly has room to improve. Let’s look at the pitching, in the order of innings pitched.
Surprisingly Anibal Sanchez is leading the team, though the top four starters are all within an inning and a third. Sanchez is striking out nearly 30% of batters faced and walking only 6%, both career bests. He likely can’t maintain this pace, but should be able to win at least as often, and that is more important than gaudy stats.