The Tigers have one month in the books. Small ball is working as the team "should" have 12 wins and 11 losses based on runs scored and runs allowed, but are actually 14-9 due to success in one run games.
Miguel Cabrera has grounded into 5 double plays, a side effect of hitting the ball hard with men on base. His OPS+ is a league-average 100. His slump is everybody else's normal month. His strikeout rate of 18% is much higher than in recent years, but not far from his career rate of 17%.
Ian Kinsler leads the team in hits (28) runs scored (16) and is second in RBIs (14). He is as advertised.
Nick Castellanos has 14 RBIs and trails Miggy for the team lead by only 1. His strikeout rate of 21% is acceptable, and BABIP of .255 suggests bad luck. The most exciting obscure stat for Nick is his line drive rate of 34.5%, third highest among all major league players. He is hitting the ball hard and more hits should start falling in.
Rajai Davis is slashing .333 / .395 / .444. His power is in line with expectations, an ISO of .111 vs. .109 for his career. He is swinging at fewer pitches out of the strike zone than ever, 28% vs. .33% for his career. An unsustainably high .393 BABIP is fueled by hits on 23% of balls in play to the infield. He has been hit by 4 pitches. He will do anything to reach first and steal second.
Austin Jackson is batting .307 while leading the team in slugging percentage at .520. Jackson has drastically cut back on his strikeout rate, down over a third to 15%, and raised his walk rate by over half to 14%. He should not be leading off again, ever. He is also tied with Alex Gonzalez for the team lead in errors (3), and Sea Bass won't be committing another error anytime soon. We will soon stop thinking of him as an athletic centerfielder and start thinking of him as a slugging corner outfielder.
Torii Hunter is hitting .300 and tied for the team lead with 40 total bases. Father time remains locked in his basement.
Victor Martinez leads the team with 4 homeruns. Something must be off in the math, he is hitting .298 and not .300.
Justin Verlander's results look good, 3 wins and a 2.48 ERA. The strikeout rate of 7 per 9 innings, and walk rate of 3.4 per 9 innings, don't look nearly as good. The WHIP of 1.35 is also surprisingly high, and easily the highest among the starters.
Max Scherzer may have a loss already, but nearly 12 strikeouts per 9 innings, a WHIP of 1.05, and ERA of 2.08 suggest no decline from last year. Enjoy it now, because these numbers are not affordable in free agency.
Rick Porcello's record matches Verlander and Scherzer at 3 wins and 1 loss. He is on pace for 21 wins. Is this the long-awaited breakout season?
Joba Chamberlain leads the team in strikeout rate with 12.2 per 9 innings. That means Al Al is not himself. Joba's FIP of 1.29 is far lower than his ERA of 4.35 supporting the notion that he has fixed last year's issues.
Ian Krol has yet to walk a batter in 8 innings, and his WHIP of 0.875 leads the team. We should be seeing him more often.
Which performance detail do you find the most surprising?