Detroit Tigers News

Who else should represent the Detroit Tigers now that Miggy is an All-Star?

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - JULY 04: Miguel Cabrera #24 of the Detroit Tigers looks on against the Cleveland Guardians at Comerica Park on July 04, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MICHIGAN - JULY 04: Miguel Cabrera #24 of the Detroit Tigers looks on against the Cleveland Guardians at Comerica Park on July 04, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /
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Miggy will represent the Detroit Tigers as a special selection.

For the first time since 2016, Detroit Tigers’ designated hitter Miguel Cabrera is headed back to the MLB All-Star game.

Miggy was a special selection by MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred in recognition of his career achievements. He was selected for the American League. Cardinals’ DH Albert Pujols was selected to represent the National League.

One could argue that Cabrera, 39, could have made the All-Star game on his own. He leads the Detroit Tigers with a .308 batting average, which is eighth in the American League. Spectacularly enough, 68 of his 78 hits are singles.

He hardly ever hits the ball in the air anymore. His flyball rate of 16.4% is the second-lowest of his career, but he’s still got a solid line drive rate of 30.2%. As long as he can still drive the ball, he can still gets hits.

Of course, Miggy also got his 500th home run last season and his 3,000th hit earlier this season. This selection—the 12th of his career— is in recognition of those career achievements.

So with Cabrera in as part of the new “legends” clause, it begs the questions of who the Detroit Tigers’ other representative will be in the 2022 All-Star game. It will almost certainly be a reliever, especially considering that no position player besides Cabrera was deserving of a spot and Tarik Skubal has regressed significantly.

Gregory Soto would make the most sense considering he is the Tigers’ closer and he is tied for eighth in the majors in saves with 17. It isn’t always pretty with him, as evidenced in last night’s game against the Chicago White Sox, but he gets the job done more often than not.

But there are a few other relievers deserving of All-Star nods, mainly Michael Fulmer and Alex Lange. Fulmer simply doesn’t allow hard contact, ranking in the 86th percentile in hard hit rate 99th percentile in barrel rate according to Baseball Savant. While his fastball velocity has been down overall this season, its ticked up a bit recently, getting back up to 97.

Because his fastball doesn’t have the same zip, Fulmer has turned to his slider much more often. He’s thrown it more than 60% of the time this season, and it’s been super effective. He’s got a 2.03 ERA so far this season.

Lange is my personal pick to make the All-Star team. His ERA is just a tick lower than Fulmer’s at 2.01, which leads the Tigers’ pitching staff. His also has the filthiest stuff on the staff, including a sinker that teleports.

But his best weapon has to be his curveball. Batters are hitting just .115 against it and are whiffing at it at a 61% clip. If he learn to throw strikes consistently and keep that walk rate down, he could be an All-Star for years to come.

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