The Tigers June Splits


2012 is flying by, at least it seems as such to me. I feel like only moments ago I was watching spring training baseball online, only to blink and realize it’s Memorial Day weekend. We’ve passed the 1/4 mark of the season and June is right around the corner.

Let’s take a look at how these Tigers have performed, historically speaking, in the month of June. We’ll start with the hitters. Here’s a rundown of the basics, an * indicates that players best career number for any month:

At first glance Prince Fielder and Brennan Boesch jump off the page. Prince has posted a .613 slugging %, a .995 OPS and 52 HR’s in 171 June games, the highest marks for all 3 categories in his career. As for Boesch, if every month were June he’d be the happiest guy on the ballclub, and a perennial MVP candidate. In 54 June games Brennan has posted a slash line of .358/.419/.623, good for a 1.041 OPS. In those games he’s mashed 14 HR, driven in 36 runs, scored 38 times while drawing 20 walks and recording 76 hits – all career bests for a single month.

Brennan and Danny Worth (14) are the only Tigers to have recorded more hits in June than any other month. Gerald Laird has also posted his best slash line numbers in June, with a .289/.330/.348 good for a .778 OPS.

Miguel Cabrera paces the lineup with 224 June games played and 835 AB’s. Over that span he’s launched 45 HR, logged 142 RBI with 48 doubles and a .926 OPS. And if you’re looking to witness a Miggy triple, June is your month. He has 4 three baggers in June, the most of any month. Oddly, that’s the only category where June is his best offensively.

On the downside, Don Kelly (.219), Ramon Santiago (.224) and Ryan Raburn (.245) have the lowest batting averages among active Tigers in June. The lowest OPS numbers belong to Kelly (.582), Santiago (.622) and Danny Worth (.639).

Now let’s look at the Tigers hurlers in the 6th month of the year:

Surprise, Surprise – Justin Verlander has been exceptional in the month of June. He’s posted his best monthly numbers in losses, winning %, hits allowed, earned runs and home runs allowed. At 21-5 with a 2.85 ERA, 1.112 WHIP, 8.8 K/9 and a .213 batting average against Verlander has dominated the competition. Justin has 2 career shutouts in June, the only Tiger to register in that category.

Max Scherzer and Doug Fister also have their fewest losses in June. Scherzer has posted 8 June wins and allowed only 8 HR in 96 innings pitched, his best totals respectively. Mister Fister has been one unlucky fella. Despite a 3.64 ERA, 1.095 WHIP and .234 batting average against he is winless in 6 June starts. This will be his first June wearing the Old English D.

For Rick Porcello June has been downright ominous. Frederick Alfred Porcello owns his worst ERA, WHIP, K/9 and K/BB of any month in June. With 112 hits allowed over 76.1 innings pitched (.340 BAA) it’s easy to connect to the dots to his 4-7 record. The only mystery might be how he won 4 games.

In the bullpen Papa Grande boasts monthly bests of 127 K  and 11.4 K/9 in June. Despite a .281 BAA Valverde has recorded 45 June saves, while registering a 3.04 ERA and a 1.123 WHIP.

Joaquin Benoit has not been so lucky. His 4.65 June ERA and 1.364 WHIP are less than stellar, although not the worst of his career. His K/9 has been impressive at 9.0 (103 K in 102.2 IP), but 43 walks in that span have hurt him, and his teams.

Octavio Dotel has also seen June be unkind to him in many regards. His June numbers for earned runs and hits allowed are the worst of any month, which explains why he’s lost more games in June than any other period of the calendar. There are some positives in the digits,  his 24 saves in June are a high water mark, and his 10.9 K/9  and 3.15 K/BB are exceptional. Random fact – he is also the only Tiger pitcher to have pitched in the major leagues in the 20th century.

The concerning June bullpen trends continue with Phil Coke. His 4.14 ERA and 1.467 are troubling and cringe worthy in turn. Oddly enough, despite 21 earned runs allowed in 45.2 IP, Phil has never allowed a home run in the month of June. In total Tigers pitchers have combined for a 51-42 record in June, with 69 saves.

Players not listed were omitted due to limited or lack of June statistics for their careers. All statistics gathered from Baseball Reference.

J. Ellet Lambie covers the Detroit Tigers for Motor City Bengals. He also writes weekly columns covering fantasy baseball and baseball card collecting for Full Spectrum Baseball. You can follow him on twitter @lembeck451