Detroit Tigers: Buyers or sellers? Justin Verlander’s future? MCB staff discusses

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Jul 4, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher David Price (14) pitches in the second inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Who has been the Tigers’ MVP in the first half? Who has been the biggest disappointment?

Steve: Clearly the MVP for the Tigers is Miguel Cabrera. His numbers are monstrous this year and while he was short in home runs, he was on pace to win a batting title again as well as an RBI title and be in the MVP consideration yet again. What’s most impressive to me about Miggy is that he continues to find ways to do it with a supporting cast that sometimes doesn’t. Kinsler in front of him has struggled, VMart behind him was gone and the Tigers couldn’t find the right clean up hitter and he still got it done. The biggest disappointment to me this year would have to be the pitching of Anibal Sanchez. I think the Tigers were right in parting ways with Rick Porcello (how’s he doing Red Sox fans?) but they were relying on Sanchez to bring the consistency that he has shown over the past three years. He seems to be getting back on track, but his struggles early have helped dig the hole the Tigers are in.

Zane: Without question, the Tigers’ first half MVP has been David Price. It would not be pretty to imagine Detroit’s outlook without their 15-3 record in Price’s starts, and it would be equally ugly to see the ERA among Tigers pitchers without him. Price is 9-2 with a 2.38 ERA and one of the primary reasons that the Tigers have even the slimmest of chances at making the postseason.

On the other hand, the biggest disappointment for the Tigers has been Ian Kinsler. I thought Kinsler could have a huge year offensively hitting at the front of the vaunted Tigers offense, but he has been mediocre at the plate, and has even regressed defensively. Beyond that, he has left much to be desired in the clubhouse.

Matt P.: Despite the Tigers’ poor showing in the first-half, they have had some good stories. Miguel Cabrera still continues to be the best player in the game when healthy, and he was the only guy still getting hits when the lineup went ice cold from mid-April to mid-May. How can you not love J.D. Martinez’s performance this year? So many people predicted him to regress this year but, after a cool start, he has actually played better than his breakout year of 2014. Jose Iglesias, a guy who hit below .100 in the Grapefruit League has consistently been on base at the bottom of the lineup, not to mention he is worth the price of admission for his defense alone.

But the MVP of the Tigers’ first half has to be David Price. Although he had 1-2 stinkers early on, he has been the only stable one on that starting staff. Detroit is 15-3 in his starts this season. For an inconsistent team, that’s all you need to know about who is the team’s MVP.

Biggest disappointment has to be Shane Greene. Tigers’ fans were very excited seeing him come over to the team from the Yankees where he had a lot of success as a rookie in 2014. At worst he would have been an average fifth man, but since his 0.38 ERA after three starts, he doesn’t appear to be even a major leaguer right now. His absence at the back-end of the rotation has meant there is a revolving door of minor league spot starters not ready for the big leagues.

Blair: Miguel Cabrera was having another monster first half before his injury and is the team’s first half MVP, with Price a close second. The biggest disappointment is the complete meltdown of Shane Greene, along with Alfredo Simon’s recent woes. Although he’s picked it up with the stick a bit lately, Nick Castellanos‘s offense and defense have also disappointed and I no longer see him as a major league third baseman.

Dave: Miguel Cabrera is the team’s MVP. He leads the league with a .350 batting average and also has 15 home runs and 54 RBI in 277 at-bats. It is too bad the Tigers have to live without him until at least the middle of August.

The biggest disappointment is a lot tougher to gauge because there are so many choices. Ian Kinsler and Alex Avila are exactly pulling their weight on offense although Avila missed significant time. As previously mentioned, Greene and Simon have been horrible lately, and Anibal Sanchez had a less than desirable start, but I would go with Verlander.

Yes, Verlander missed a lot of time as well, however, with the amount of money he is making, in order for the Tigers to be true contenders, he needs to be an ace. When he has been on the mound this year, Verlander has been far from an ace.

Tom Z.: The Tigers have had the interesting dynamic of their players who have been good have been really good, and they’re bad players have been really bad. J.D. Martinez, Miguel Cabrera, Jose Iglesias, David Price, and David Price could all get votes, but J.D. has my vote with Price as a close second. Martinez has boosted the Tigers’ offense while they were without Victor Martinez and Miguel Cabrera. He has been everything the Tigers hoped he would be, and more in 2015. I thought he would take a step back, but he has become the Tigers’ Jose Bautista.

Tom P.: Without a doubt the team’s MVP is J.D. Martinez. He started hot then slumped terribly as he tried to take some of the weight of the offense off of Cabrera’s shoulders while Victor Martinez finished rehabbing his knee. Once he quit trying to pull everything and went back to using all fields he’s been one of the hottest hitters in the American League. No reason to believe he won’t continue that trend in the second half.

The biggest disappointment has to be Anibal Sanchez. With Scherzer gone and Verlander injured the Tigers needed Sanchez to step up and be a number two pitcher behind Price. From the start of the season up to June 3 the Tigers were 2-10 in games he started. Not good enough over a time when Shane Greene was falling apart and Alfredo Simon was beginning to struggle.

Matt S.: JD Martinez is the easy answer, but I have to go with my man Alex Wilson. He’s been an absolute bulldog and a crucial reason why we’re not even worse.

Biggest disappointment has been Shane Greene. He should be in AA Erie.

Next: What does the future hold for YOUR Detroit Tigers?

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