Posted by Bob Biscigliano in Detroit Tigers
There are two great things about this season coming to a close: 1) Hope is regained as we look toward next year and 2) The 1st Annual Paper Plate Awards, designed by Miguel Cabrera, with a special appearance from freshly retired, Todd Jones. Let us get straight to the point here:
Best Tigers Starting Pitcher:
Who: Armando Galarraga
Why: Far and away the most consistent starting pitcher on our squad throughout the entire year. He ended the season with a 13-7 record, 3.73 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, and 126 Ks in 178 IP. He finishes with the most wins on the team, most quality starts, and 2nd best ERA amongst Tiger pitchers who threw over 23 IP. The most impressive stat for Galarraga was how he dominated right handed hitters time and time again. Vs. Righties he posted a 2.46 ERA and held them to a .174 AVG.
Best Tigers Reliever:
Who: If we HAVE to pick someone as the best, then it's Jason Grilli.
Why the hell him: Grilli posted a 3.29 ERA with the Tags before being shipped to Colorado. Grilli spoke publicy against the Tigers and probably lost any respect I ever had for him, despite him talking with me and giving me a ball when I sat next to the Tags bullpen in Atlanta last summer. All the laughs and scoffs aside, Grilli was legit this year. His 3.29 ERA would have been the best on the team if he kept pace with that throughout the year. Grilli went beyond that though and wound up posting a 2.93 ERA with the Rockies, recording almost a K/IP. I've always thought Grilli was a real douche, but I think we messed up by pre-maturely trading him for a new Comerica Park mail courrier. I guess you could make a case for Aquilino Lopez, but I think with all the bullpen problems we had this year no one on our team reallly deserves it. Right? I think it will sting more and help us realize we need bullpen help if we are reminded forever that Grilli went on to have a more than serviceable year elsewhere and would have been our best reliever by far with those numbers. JasonGrilli4lyfe
Best Tigers Power Hitter:
Who: Miguel Cabrera
Why: Do I really need to explain myself? Here. .292, 37 HR, 127 RBI. Led the AL in HR and was 3rd in RBI's. Oh, that's also with a "slow" start. He hit 27 HR from July through September. Need I really say more?
Best Tigers Overall Hitter:
Why: Easy. Led the team in slugging (.537), Hits (180), 2B (36), HR (37), RBI (127), Total Bases (331), and OPS (.887). He was even 5th on the team in triples (2). He is the epitome of a complete hitter and one of the best in all of baseball.
Best Tigers Fielder:
Who: Brandon Inge
Why: Despite not knowing what his role would be coming into the season, Brandon Inge was about as steady as they came defensively (just the opposite at the plate). Inge did not make an error all season until the very last weekend of the season, which was made at his position of the future 3B. 1 error with 400+ PO, in addition to a ton of diving plays at third base makes him the easy choice here. I fully believe him to be a future gold glove winner.
Best Tigers Rookie:
Why: For all the same reasons he was the Tigers best pitcher. He was the steadiest players on the Tigers and he was just a rookie.
Tigers Biggest Suprise Player:
Who: Justin Verlander
Why: He sucked and no one was expecting him to be. He failed to make propert adjustments all season and as a result, he ended up finishing an atrocious 11-17 with a 4.84 ERA. And he is supposed to be the ace of our staff. I guess I'm personally not too surprised that he had a drop off, but I am surprised he was this bad.
Best Tigers Minor Leaguer:
Who: Mike Hessman
Why: It's tough to choose when our entire farm system plays for other teams now. Then again, it's pretty easy when we have our own "Crash" Davis. Hessman had 34 HR and 72 RBI this year in just under 400 AB for Toledo. Despite being 30 years old, Hessman was selected to join the young team USA in Beijing at the end of the summer en route to their Bronze Medal. Hessman was called up in September and continued his power surge with the Tigers as he hit 5 HR in just 27 AB. It's pretty hard to ignore this INT League MVP. He's my choice this year.The Todd Jones Most Improved Player Award:
Who: Fernando Rodney
Why: Todd Jones was more than happy to give this award to his successor as closer. Rodney started the year off terrible, then on the DL, then terrible. He really didn't have a clue as to what he wanted to be. However, he ended the year off nicely recording 13 saves along the way. Rodney certainly had his struggles throughout the season, but I would definitely admit that he earned himself another spot in the bullpen next year, if not a spot as our closer (if we can't sign anyone during the off season). Todd Jones is proud of Rodney persevering through tough shoulder tendinitis.
That concludes the end of the 1st Annual Detroit Tigers Paper Plate Awards. I hope you enjoyed these more than Dundler Mifflin enjoys the Dundies.