May 12, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler (3) celebrates with teammates after his game winning RBI in the tenth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
#5 Hero: Ian Kinsler
Snipping this list down to just five Detroit Tigers’ players was a monumental task, but Ian Kinsler gets the nod in a close race between a couple of others.
Anthony Gose, who was the only hero in the tough week a few weeks back, warrants an honorable mention for seemingly always being on base, getting into scoring position and wrecking havoc on opposing pitchers’ concentration levels.
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Jose Iglesias was also a tough cut. The AL’s leading hitter had another solid week at the plate and drove in the winning run in extra innings on Saturday. In between the boredom of the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball crew, they did make an interesting point. If Iggy continues to hit like this coupled with the iconic defense he displays every day, he could enter into the AL MVP race.
Lasty, we were critical of Yoenis Cespedes last week, but he had a very productive week, earning eight hits, scoring three runs and knocking in six.
But the reason we chose Kinsler is because he helped set the table for a phenomenal week for Miguel Cabrera (who we will get to later). Had Kinsler not reached base consistently last week (.385/.414/.577 slash line), who knows if Miggy would have been as productive. He certainly would have been walked more with first base open.
Ian has also been responsible for the last two Tigers’ walkoffs this season. May 8 against Kansas City on the bunt/error walk-off and Tuesday with a game winning single to beat the Twins in 10 innings.
Kinsler is having the same level of success that he experienced in the first half of last year. With Victor Martinez still working his way out of his funk, having a solid Kinsler all season long will be key for the Tigers and very beneficial to Cabrera.
Next: Hardy Boy