Detroit Tigers: April MVP's and Disappointments

Steven FinchCorrespondent IApril 30, 2009

SEATTLE - APRIL 19:  Brandon Inge #15 of the Detroit Tigers bats against the Seattle Mariners during the game on April 19, 2009 at Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

As the first month of baseball comes to a close, the Tigers look like the team who could win the Central Division.

At this point, though, anyone could win it. With Chicago and Kansas City both producing good records right now, either team could take over the top spot.

Kansas City will fall off, just like surprising teams early in the year often do.

The end of April will start my monthly installment of who I think are the Tigers' pitching and batting MVP's.

Pitching MVP: Armando Gallaraga

In only his third season in the majors, Gallaraga has pitched 24.1 innings.

Out of four starts, Gallaraga has three wins—the only Tigers pitcher to have those numbers.

In those four starts, he has also struck out 24 while sporting a 1.85 ERA.

Look for him to continue on this path with success, maybe with a couple of hiccups on the way, like all pitchers have to deal with.

Pitching Disappointment: Justin Verlander

Starting in five games in April, Verlander has a meager 6.75 ERA. That is not acceptable.

Verlander needs to step it up and show the signs of an ACE we all thought we had coming into the season.

Batting MVP: Brandon Inge

While this choice could have gone three ways with Cabrera, Inge, and Granderson all putting up great numbers so far, it is Inge who gets the honors.

He is batting .319 with seven homers and 18 RBI.

We have all seen this before, maybe not with Inge. There have been many players who start out hot in the first month, only to fall off later in the year.

He does have four errors so far, which as a third baseman is unacceptable, but he should produce better defense latter in the year.

Batting Disappointment: Magglio Ordonez

He is my favorite player on the team, though that doesn't change my mind on this decision.

Ordonez is batting .241 with two homers and nine RBI. The two homers are nice.

The stat that shows the most, though, is the lack of doubles or triples.  The triples, I understand, are hard for him to hit, but I would expect him to have atleast one double.

Out of his 19 hits, all but the two homers have been singles. That's dismal.

It's still too early to count him out as a hitter this season, and these picks are probably going to look a lot different as the months go by.

The Tigers are 11-10 so far on the year, which is good enough for a second place tie with the Chicago White Sox. Expect one of these two teams to seperate themselves as the leader going into May.


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