Detroit Tigers Players of the Month: Fulmer & Iglesias
According to the Detroit Tigers social media, Michael Fulmer and Jose Iglesias were named the pitcher and player of the month.
Were they the most deserving Detroit Tigers position player and pitcher in June?
Let’s look at the numbers and the competition:
When it comes to pitching, it is easy to see why Fulmer was named the Pitcher of the Month. In the last 30 days, his ERA is 0.62 in 29 innings pitched. The only pitcher with a lower ERA is Andrew Romine who pitched in .2 innings and has 0.00. Fulmer’s WHIP for June was 0.90.
The veteran aces on the team have a much higher numbers. Justin Verlander has a 4.12 ERA and a WHIP of 1.12. Jordan Zimmermann, whose numbers in April were like Fulmer’s in June, had a 6.43 ERA and 1.43 WHIP in this past month. And Pelfrey, who technically can’t be called an “ace,” had a 5.13 ERA with a WHIP of 1.71. Yes…Pelfrey allowed fewer runs than Zimmermann in June.
Two of the bullpen pitchers should earn some recognition for their good work during the month of June. Kyle Ryan and Bruce Rondon stepped up to help the team. Ryan’s ERA was 1.23 in 6 games and 7.1 innings of work. Rondon had a WHIP of 0.57 with an ERA of 1.29 in 7 innings and 5 games. Their performances were not as noteworthy as Fulmer’s, but when it comes to pitching out of the pen, their reliability has certainly helped the team.
Fulmer deserves the monthly award from his team. And, in all honesty, he should have received it from the MLB, too. He set the new Detroit Tigers’ record for starts by a rookie. Until Kansas City Royals Salvador Perez‘s home run against him, Fulmer threw 33 1/3 innings without allowing a run. For comparison, Orel Hershiser threw 32 scoreless innings in 1984. It is safe to say that Fulmer is a pitcher to watch.
When it comes to position players, was Jose Iglesias the most deserving in June? He did have some notable stats that set him apart from the rest of team. One of his best stats is in the strikeout category. Of the everyday starters, Iglesias had significantly fewer than the rest of the men on his team. He had 7 strikeouts in 95 at-bats. In comparison, Cameron Maybin had 14 K’s in 94 at-bats, Victor Martinez had 23 K’s in 95 at-bats, and James McCann had 23 K’s in 72 at-bats.
Iglesias stole two bases, hit two home runs, and had nine walks. In all of 2015, Iglesias hit two home runs. To make the two June home runs even more not hit off of average pitchers. His first of the month was off of Chris Sale and the second was off of Adam Conley. His first home run in May was off of Max Scherzer.
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Were there other Tigers position players who should have won the Player of the Month award for the team? Of the daily starters, only Maybin had a better batting average: .330. Iglesias had a .316. But, Iglesias had a better slugging percentage of .453 to Maybin’s .394. Maybin stole more bases, scored more RBIs, and had one more hit. But Maybin did not hit any home runs.
Iglesias’s performances on the field were exceptional in June, too. He made only two errors in 240 innings. He was involved in 23 double plays and had 102 assists. Ian Kinsler also had an outstanding June on the field. He was error-free, involved in 17 double plays, and had 79 assists. The pair of middle infielders played in the same number of games and innings.
Anyone who watches the Tigers on a regular basis knows that no other position players do what Iglesias and Kinsler do on a daily basis. Despite the two errors, Iglesias had more impressive numbers than Kinsler.
Next: Breaking Streaks on the Road
It looks like the decision makers in Detroit did choose the two most deserving players to win the June awards for Players of the Month.