The 2009 Detroit Tigers Report Card

Here are my grades from some key contributors (and non-contributors) for the 2009 Tigers season…

Starting Pitchers:

  • Justin Verlander: A-, great bounce back from 2008
  • Edwin Jackson: B, was lights out for four months before injury and tipping pitches became a factor
  • Rick Porcello: A, matured quickly as a ballplayer and a pitcher
  • Nate Robertson: C, struggled in the ‘pen before throwing some decent games down the stretch
  • Eddie Bonine: C+, one fantastic start on the road in Chicago defined a season of ups and downs
  • Jarrod Washburn: F, he cost a decent prospect for one good start, one half of a pair of disappointing acquisitions
  • Armando Galaragga: D, he was on a roll in the beginning only to serve meatballs for most of the season’s remainder
  • Dontrelle Willis: Inc., his inspirational comeback quickly ended to put the Tigers back in a bind
  • Jeremy Bonderman: Inc., I wonder if he’ll ever have the stuff again that made him such a phenom
  • Alfredo Figaro: Inc., had some decent starts in the early summer but doesn’t look to have starter potential



  • Fernando Rodney: A-, his grade comes down a half-point for his 6-plus ERA in non-save situations
  • Brandon Lyon: A-, booed on Opening Day and became a steady arm in the Tigers ‘pen
  • Bobby Seay: B+, made plenty of big pitches throughout the season
  • Zach Miner: B+, he has begun to regain his great stuff from 2006
  • Fu-Te Ni: B, a steady arm out of the ‘pen, pitched a lot of junk innings for the Tigers
  • Ryan Perry: B-, his arm is electric, but he has battled some control issues
  • Joel Zumaya: D, he’s fit but his pitching and arm are in great question
  • Casey Fien: Inc., struggled in Spring Training but had moments throughout the season



  • Miguel Cabrera: A-, for most of the season he was seemingly the only Tiger batting over .300
  • Placido Polanco: B+, he picked things up down the stretch, quite the feared hitter
  • Ramon Santiago: B, really swung a better bat this year for the Tigers
  • Adam Everett: B, his defense is solid as is his ability to sacrifice over a runner
  • Brandon Inge: B+, he battled injuries for most of the year and a balky bat
  • Jeff Larish: D, his all-or-nothing swing has to be concerning for a Tigers team hitting collectively .260
  • Aubrey Huff: F, his bat was essentially non-existant
  • Brent Dlugach: Inc., good to see this youngster get the feel of the Majors even if it was on the bench



  • Magglio Ordonez: B+, played fantastic down the stretch to bring up his grade
  • Curtis Granderson: C+, struggled most of the year with the bat, also had some key defensive miscues
  • Ryan Raburn: A-, he has the highest batting average of any Major Leaguer after the 7th inning
  • Clete Thomas: B, a good defensive replacement in the later innings
  • Carlos Guillen: C, played half a season with some decent at-bats
  • Marcus Thames: D, pitchers attacked him constantly with fastballs he couldn’t catch up to
  • Don Kelly: Inc., solid with the glove in non-domed conditions
  • Wilkin Ramirez: Inc., speedy around the paths to go with his all-or-nothing swing



  • Gerald Laird: C-, he is steady behind the plate and nearly an automatic out in front of it
  • Alex Avila: B+, that bat was en fuego along with his 40%+ rate gunning down runners
  • Dusty Ryan: Inc., his time in Detroit was rather forgettable
  • Matt Treanor: Inc., no signs of Misty May in the Comerica Park crowd

Tigers Baseball

One reply on “The 2009 Detroit Tigers Report Card

  • BaseballinDC

    I’ll go along with most of this, except Adam Everett. I think the same can be said of him as Laird. As much as I appreciate the defense, we need to upgrade at SS, even if it just means getting more playing time for Santiago.

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