Detroit Tigers 2014 Grades: Scherzer, Cabrera, Nathan, Kinsler

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The Detroit Tigers 2014 season is officially in the books, and with that being said, it’s time for player grades. Over the next few weeks player grades will be posted; appearing in increments of four. To kick things off, the seasons of Max Scherzer, Miguel Cabrera, Joe Nathan, and Ian Kinsler will be examined. See how your favorite Detroit Tiger fared in 2014…

A+. Max Scherzer took a gigantic gamble on himself by declining the Tigers $144 million contract offer back in March. But his gamble sure worked out in his favor. After winning the AL Cy Young Award in 2013, many expected Scherzer to take a step back. To say the least, Scherzer followed up his breakout 2013 season with a fantastic 14′ campaign. His 18-5 record gave him the 4th most wins in baseball, while his 252 strikeouts were 3rd most in MLB; only Corey Kluber and fellow-Tiger David Price accumulated more. A 3.15 ERA put the finishing touches on his dominant season; it’s safe to say Scherzer’s gamble put the ball in his court. Regardless of his future in Detroit, his 2014 season is more than deserving of an A.. SP. Detroit Tigers. MAX SCHERZER

Detroit Tigers. MIGUEL CABRERA. B+. After winning the Triple Crown in 2012 and posting even better numbers than his historic 12′ season in 2013, Cabrera showed regression in his performance for the first time in years during 2014. For a great majority of the season, something wasn’t right at the plate for Cabrera; and at times he looked lost. It’s almost certain that much of this could be attributed to <a href=. 1B

D. There is not a person in the universe that would tell you Joe Nathan had a decent season other than Joe Nathan. Anytime “Sloppy Joe” took the mound, you had no idea how things were going to go. Nathan notched 35 saves this season, which is really the only positive stat of his 2014 numbers. In 58 innings pitched, Nathan gave up 31 ER’s, which is more than any other closer with 30+ saves. To put his ER’s in comparison, Greg Holland of the Kansas City Royals gave up 10 ER’s in 62.1 innings pitched, while Jonathon Papelbon of the Philadelphia Phillies gave up 15 ER’s in 66.1 innings pitched. With a horrifying ERA of 4.81, and 7 blown saves (2nd most in baseball), it’s tough to find a bright spot in Joe Nathan’s season. Tack on a few <a href=. RP. Detroit Tigers. JOE NATHAN

A-. If we were basing our grades on the first half of the 2014 season, Kinsler would most certainly have an A; but a sub-par performance after the All Star Game made his season a Jekyll and Hyde-esque scenario. In the first half of the season, Kinsler had a .303 BA; that dropped to .239 during the 2nd half. His HR’s dropped in the 2nd half as well, only hitting 6 as opposed to 11 before the All Star Break. Regardless of his 2nd half, Kinsler’s overall season was the one Tigers fans were hoping for. Leading the MLB with 739 plate appearances, and only 79 strikeouts the entire season, Kinsler was out there every day, playing 161 games. His defense was unparalleled this past season as he put up a career best .988 fielding percentage. A perfect blend of offense (.275 BA, 92 RBI, 188 hits) and defense, as well as durability and hustle, Kinsler earned himself an A-.( . 2B. Detroit Tigers. IAN KINSLER

Stay tuned for more Detroit Tigers season grades in the near future!

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