Detroit Tigers first quarter report cards

General manager Al Avila watches the Tigers practice on April 7, 2022, at Comerica Park.
General manager Al Avila watches the Tigers practice on April 7, 2022, at Comerica Park. /
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Detroit Tigers C Grades

Detroit Tigers
May 18, 2022; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Detroit Tigers shortstop Willi Castro (9) singles during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Miguel Cabrera – One could make an argument that Miguel Cabrera deserves a B for his performance so far. He is batting .276 with a team-leading 15 RBI’s, and his performance relative to expectations has been impressive. But we don’t grade on a curve here, and Cabrera’s lack of walks and power leave him with a pedestrian wRC+ of 106 — just slightly above MLB average.

Harold Castro and Willi Castro – It’s not really fair to group these two together, but fans do it all the time, so we will too. If it were up to Twitter, Harold and Willi Castro would not only be off the Detroit Tigers, but they’d be sentenced to toil in some sort of underground salt mine. But the fact remains, Harold and Willi have been two of Detroit’s best offensive performers so far this season. That says more about the state of the offense than these two particular players, but the numbers are the numbers.

Michael Fulmer – Fulmer was one of the best relievers in baseball last year, but so far this season he has been thoroughly average. His 3.52 ERA is acceptable, but his velocity has dropped rather dramatically, and he’s seen a 7% drop in his strikeout rate to go along with a 6% jump in his walk rate.

Rony García – Chalk another one up to relievers being weird. Garcia has always had a nice arm and a good curveball, but in his limited time at the MLB level he looked like he lacked the control to be a viable bullpen pitcher. But so far he has been pretty darn good, posting a 2.57 ERA over 14 innings a long reliever.

Wily Peralta – Speaking of long relievers, Wily Peralta has also done an admirable job in that role, with a scanty 1.10 ERA over 16.1 innings. Again, the numbers are the numbers, but his 11 walks suggest this performance won’t last.

Michael Pineda – Before his unfortunate broken finger Michael Pineda was doing pretty much exactly what the Detroit Tigers expected of him. He wasn’t striking anyone out, and he wasn’t blowing hitters away with stuff, but he owned a 3.22 ERA through 22.1 innings over five decent starts.

Eduardo Rodriguez – Much like Pineda, Eduardo Rodriguez was doing about what was expected of him this season. His most recent start was ugly — we now know why — but he went into that game with a very solid 3.72 ERA and four quality starts in seven outings.

Gregory Soto – In true Detroit Tigers closer fashion, Gregory Soto has been a roller coaster this season. He has seven saves and his 2.92 ERA looks great, but there are some danger signs here, namely that his strikeout rate has dropped 7% while his walk rate has remained among the highest in the game.