Detroit Tigers: Five players who are playing great this spring

Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

We’ve passed the halfway point in the Grapefruit League schedule for 2020. Here we take a look at five Detroit Tigers players having a great spring.

We’re now more than halfway through the Grapefruit League schedule for 2020. Though there isn’t much hype surrounding the Detroit Tigers to begin the season, there are several players who are having great springs so far. Here we highlight five: Miguel Cabrera, Victor Reyes, Matthew Boyd, Spencer Turnbull, and Joe Jimenez. Can they carry it into the regular season?

Miguel Cabrera

The future Hall of Famer made headlines at the beginning of spring training when he arrived at camp slimmer and in better shape, but would it translate into more success on the field? He hasn’t posted a WAR above 0.6 since 2016, so there’s going to be plenty of skepticism that the 36-year-old can still produce at a solid level. Yet so far he looks like he’s on a mission at the plate, going 9-for-26 with three home runs and seven RBIs.

Victor Reyes

The 25-year-old switch-hitter took a starting role and ran with it in the second half last year, batting .332 with 13 doubles in 49 games from August 4 on. There was question coming into the season whether he’d be a starter in 2020, but he’s continuing to earn his playing time this spring, leading the team with hits (10) in 26 at-bats. Ron Gardenhire is going to have to play him every day if he keeps this up.

Matthew Boyd

After a rough ending to 2019 and lots of trade rumors this past offseason, the southpaw had a lot to prove coming into this season. With a great outing against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday, Boyd has now given up just two earned runs in 9 1/3 innings so far with 12 strikeouts. Can he regain the form he showed for the majority of 2019? So far, it looks like he has a great chance.

Spencer Turnbull

I really think that Turnbull is going to have a good year. He led the league in losses last year with 17, but we all know that stat is becoming less and less important. Like Boyd, he faded down the stretch last year but had an ERA of 2.78 as late as June 11. With a full year of work now under his belt, Turnbull is impressing this spring, allowing just one run in eight innings while striking out ten. Bold prediction: Turnbull represents the Tigers on the American League All-Star team this year.

Joe Jimenez

In what seems to be merely a formality, Ron Gardenhire has named Jimenez the closer for 2020. On June 23, 2018, Jimenez had a 1.98 ERA, but he’s struggled to maintain that form since then. However, he did allow just one earned run in nine innings in September last year, so perhaps he can carry that over into 2020. So far, the right-hander has made five appearances and pitched five innings, allowing no runs.

Honorable Mentions

C.J. Cron: Nine hits, including three home runs, in 24 at-bats

Willi Castro: Eight hits in 24 at-bats

Travis Demeritte: Four home runs in 15 at-bats

David McKay: One earned run allowed in 6 1/3 innings

Bryan Garcia: One earned run allowed in six innings