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Verlander and Cabrera Have DIBS on Tigers Awards

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After a two-year hiatus, the Detroit Independent Baseball Scribes (or "DIBS") have reunited to nominate their choices for the top Detroit Tigers performers of the season

DIBS is a grouping of blogs and websites that cover the Tigers. The endeavor was originally created by Brian Borawski, Bill Ferris, and Ryan Sosin, who wanted to gather the various fans and writers producing non-traditional Detroit sports coverage online. There wasn't an awards vote last year, but Kurt Mensching wanted to get the band back together this year, adding the many new blogs and writers that now regularly contribute to the Tigers blogosphere. Kudos to him for taking this on.

The categories are for Hitter of the Year, Pitcher of the Year, Breakout Player of the Year, and Most Improved Player. And the winners are as follows:

Tigers Hitter of the Year: Miguel Cabrera

One of two unanimous choices in this year's voting, there was really no competition for this award. With a .324/.396/.547 average with 34 home runs and 103 RBIs, Cabrera put together a fine season overall. And on a team whose lineup struggled all year, those numbers stand out even more. No, it wasn't perfect. Cabrera seemed to disappear in several big games and series. And of course, there were the unfortunate events of October 3. But no one else was as consistent a threat throughout the year.

Tigers Pitcher of the Year: Justin Verlander

Once again, a unanimous choice. The Tigers wouldn't have been in a pennant race, let alone played in a one-game tiebreaker for the AL Central, without Verlander putting together a Cy Young Award caliber season. He led the majors in strikeouts (by a notable margin in the AL), and was one of four pitchers to finish with 19 wins. It was the dominant season expected of him, and had the Tigers' lineup provided better offensive support, those numbers would have been even more impressive.

Breakout Player of the Year: Rick Porcello

A 20-year-old rookie who was expected to pitch in Double-A to begin the season ended up the Tigers' second-best pitcher and the starter for their most important game of the year. If that's not a breakout season, what is? Porcello wasn't a unanimous choice, with votes going to Ryan Raburn and Edwin Jackson. And I understand those choices.. But at this time last year, I don't know if Porcello was even projected to be on the major league roster for 2009.

Most Improved Player: Justin Verlander

A jump from 11 wins to 19? A drop in ERA from 4.84 to 3.45? An increase of 39 innings pitched? And how about an increase in strikeouts from 163 to 269? Any of those improvements by themselves might have warranted Verlander getting this award. But he did all of the above. Verlander won 11 of 20 votes, with Fernando Rodney, Raburn, Brandon Inge, Brandon Lyon, Jackson, and Ramon Santiago also receiving consideration.

Each of the websites that participated in this year's DIBS voting are listed after the jump:

Bless You Boys -- Ian Casselberry
Daily Fungo -- Mike McClary
DesigNate Robertson -- Scott Rogowski
Detroit Tigers Den -- Austin Drake
Detroit Tigers Weblog -- Bill Ferris
Eye of the Tigers -- J. Ellet Lambie
Fire Jim Leyland -- Mike Rogers
It's Just Sports -- Patrick Hayes
Jamie Samuelsen's Blog (Freep.com) -- Jamie Samuelsen
Mack Avenue Tigers -- Kurt Mensching
The Cutoff Man (MLive.com) -- James Schmehl and Scott Warheit
Old English D -- Jennifer Cosey
Roar of the Tigers -- Samara Pearlstein
Spot Starters -- Blake VandeBunte
Take 75 North -- Matt Wallace
Tigers Amateur Analysis -- Erin Saelzler
Tigerblog -- Brian Borawski
Tiger Geist -- John Brunn
Tiger Tales -- Lee Panas
Tiger Tracks -- John Parent
Where Have You Gone, Johnny Grubb? -- Greg Eno