Detroit Tigers: Honors and Updates
Last week was a complete joy for Detroit Tigers fans. The team won nearly all of their games, losing only one to the Tampa Bay Rays. After a sorry stretch filled with heart-wrenching losses, the Tigers showed their fans that they are still ready to play.
The timing of the positive stretch of wins was due in part to the return of Cameron Maybin. Since his return, the home-grown center fielder has a batting average of .600. He has been unstoppable on offense and defense.
The timing of the wins can also be attributed to the “return” of the Miguel Cabrera that fans have come to know and love. During the trip to Washington DC and Baltimore, the Triple Crown winner had 6 hits in 23 plate appearances. The only runs he scored were the two home runs he hit in Baltimore.
Since the return to Detroit, Cabrera has improved his batting average to .315. And, he does not appear to be slowing down.
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To recognize the performances of these two outstanding Tigers, the MLB announced that both men would share the honors of being the AL Players of the Week. While this honor is not new to Cabrera, it is not common for Maybin. Cabrera has received this honor a total of 14 times. Maybin has one other Player of the Week award, but it was during his time in the NL back in 2011.
These two men added an immense amount of offense in the last week. Cabrera hit .500 with three home runs and six RBIs. In addition to Maybin’s unbelievable batting average of .600, he also hit a home run and he stole four bases. How does anyone pick one over the other?
When Brad Ausmus was asked about the recognition for his players, he said he could not have chosen one over the other.
Ausmus was also asked about the impact of Maybin on the team: “He’s got great energy, obviously had a great week with the bat, but he’s just fun to have around the clubhouse and in the dugout. I don’t know if they take that into consideration, though.”
Unfortunately, not everything came up roses for the Tigers. During the final game against the Rays, Jordan Zimmermann quickly left the game with what turned out to be a Grade 1 right groin strain. This is the least damaging strain, which is good news for the pitcher who turned 30 years old today. This is also good news for the team because the ace pitcher is likely to miss only one start – if he misses any starts at all. According to Anthony Fenech with the Detroit Free Press, Zimmermann will not need to go on the Disabled List.
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If Zimmermann does miss a start, the most likely replacement will be either Matt Boyd or Daniel Norris. Boyd currently has a 2.06 ERA in 48 innings. He has 41 strikeouts in the 8 games he has started with the Toledo Mud Hens. Norris hasn’t looked as good as many hoped he would in Toledo. He has an ERA of 6.91 in 27 innings and 6 starts. He has 30 strikeouts and 14 walks.