Detroit Tigers: An update on approaching milestones
By Andy Patton
The Detroit Tigers have multiple veterans approaching major career milestones in 2018. Here’s an update on their progress.
It’s June 1 and the Detroit Tigers have had a lot of surprising performances so far this season. Young players like Nicholas Castellanos, Joe Jimenez and Matthew Boyd have looked excellent. Each of them are vying for their first career All-Star appearance.
The veterans have not fared as well this season, with Miguel Cabrera, Francisco Liriano, Leonys Martin and Jordan Zimmermann all spending some time on the disabled list. Many of these guys are approaching career milestones, which we previewed before the season. Here is an update on how those guys are doing, and a look at how realistic them reaching those milestones may be.
Miguel Cabrera 500 home runs (35 shy)
Miggy is hitting the tar out of the ball this season, boasting a .323/.407/.516 slash line. He’s only left the yard three times however, and he’s currently on the DL. He is expected back on Friday, but unless Miggy has 35 home runs still in him this season, it doesn’t look like he’s reaching 500 taters until 2019.
Victor Martinez 250 home runs (9 shy)
Martinez has hit four home runs on the year. His .251/.316/.365 slash line has been steadily improving, although he has still been a disappointment this season. He is currently on pace for 12 home runs however, so getting to 250 career home runs is definitely a possibility. It’s possible the Tigers steadily decrease his playing time as the year goes on in order to get some of their younger players some big league experience.
If Martinez can reach 250 home runs, he’d become the 12th catcher to do so. That’s assuming he doesn’t reach 112 games at DH, which would classify him as a DH instead of a catcher.
Jordan Zimmermann 100 wins (11 shy)
Zimmermann is 2-0 on the year. A recent rehab start went very poorly however, and Zimmermann is now not expected back into Detroit’s rotation until mid-June at the earliest. His 4.88 ERA and 1.31 WHIP would need to improve for him to earn 11 more wins on the season and get to 100 for his career. It seems like a long-shot at best.
Shane Greene and the Saves Leaderboard
Shane Greene began the season with 11 career saves in Detroit, which amazingly ranked him just inside the top-50 all-time in franchise history. We were curious how far up the rankings one solid season as the team’s primary closer could move him.
So far in 2018 Greene has earned 13 saves, giving him 24 total. That ties him for 24th in franchise history, alongside Joakim Soria. Next up is former first overall pick Matt Anderson, with 26.
Greene is likely to be traded, but if he sticks around he is on pace to add 25 more saves this season. That would give him 49 saves in a Tigers uniform, placing him squarely in tenth place. If he can earn 40 saves on the year, he’d tie Francisco Rodriguez for ninth.
Miguel Cabrera and Detroit’s Record Books
Obviously the recent injury has slowed Miggy down, but if he remains healthy he could easily move up Detroit’s all-time record books in a variety of different categories.
He needs 40 more runs to pass Norm Cash for ninth all-time.
Cabrera needs 36 more hits to pass Bobby Veach for eighth all-time.
He needs 44 more total bases to pass Norm Cash for eighth all-time and 253 more to pass Alan Trammell for seventh.
He needs 32 more doubles to pass Sam Crawford for seventh and 42 more to pass Trammell for sixth.
Miggy needs just 36 more walks to pass Harry Heilmann for ninth place.
And finally, if Miggy strikes out 49 more times this season he will move into second place in franchise history, behind Brandon Inge.
Next: Tigers best player by jersey number
The Detroit Tigers have had their ups and downs this season. As the summer wears on, it’s more and more likely that younger players will get more opportunity to play.
Still, seeing veterans reach career milestones is something for Detroit Tigers fans to be excited for this season.