Well, maybe you've somehow been sleeping all of this 2009 season. Or maybe, you decided to forget about the Tigers this season after an abysmal 2008. Could it be a little of both?
If it's any of those reasons, or for any other excuse you just have missed out on the action of 2009 so far, I'll catch you up. You're in for a suprise.
Brandon Inge isn't just defense.
Remember Brandon Inge? Remember how he was only mentioned as a great glove? Remember how he struggled to keep his average above .200? Well, you can just scratch all that.
Yes, you are catching on correctly! Brandon Inge can hit. Knock on wood.
Through July 4, 2008, Brandon Inge was hitting a whopping .215 with five home runs and 21 runs batted. Through July 4, this year, he is just raking. How's .275 with 18 home runs and 52 runs batted for you?
A simple slight change in his batting stance and constant work with hitting coach, Lloyd McClendan, has changed everybody's outlook on Inge
This new Jackson guy is pretty good.
So, do you remember Matt Joyce? You know, the rookie last season who played pretty well in the outfield. Well, the Tigers decided to trade him to Tampa Bay in the offseason. I know, it stinks!
But wait, "Who'd we get in return?", you're asking.
Calm down, I was getting to that. We got Edwin Jackson for Joyce. Yes, that is the same guy that couldn't find a way to win a game early in his career. Yes, it's the same guy who has never lived up to the hype.
Okay, again, scratch all that nonsense. Edwin Jackson, since acquired, has pitched better than most pitchers in not just the American League, but the entire Major Leagues. Jackson is 6-4, with a 2.49 ERA (fifth best in MLB) and nearly a 3:1 K:BB ratio.
Magglio forgot how to hit.
I'm not sure where the old Magglio went, if you find him, let Dave Dombrowski know. Because this guy is on the block in Detroit. I know, your suprised, "What happened?", you ask?
Magglio is no longer that .363 batting champ like 2006 or that 20-30 home run guy. He has become the .261, three home runs and 25 runs batted guy... oh, and that's half way through the season!
It seems Ordonez has gotten old, fast. He is slumping so bad that he cut his wig, back to the way it was back when he was a White Sox. I know! He finally cut his hair! But, it hasn't helped, so don't get too excited.
This massive slump, also has Maggs riding the pine on most nights, as he has almost become the fourth outfielder.
We have an AL Rookie of the Year canidate.
No, I'm not making a 2006 reference to Justin Verlander, but it is similar. Rick Porcello, a 2007 first-round draft pick, has gotten a chance in the rotation this season and has lived up to the hype.
He is 8-5 with a 3.90 ERA through his first 15 career starts. He certainly isn't as good as Verlander was a few years back in his rookie year, but he's close behind.
Porcello hasn't only wow'd Detroit fans. He has been noticed around the country and is getting some consideration for the American League All-Star team.
If Rick keeps pitching the way he is, he will win the A.L. Rookie of the Year award, other potential winners are Elvis Andrus and Matt Wieters.
Did I suprise you? I told you I would. So to avoid more shock in the future, stay tuned into the Tigers the rest of the 2009 season.