The 2010 All-Star Game in Anaheim is merely weeks away and early voting results are showing that Tigers players may not get appropriate recognition for their work so far in 2010.
This Tigers team was supposed to fold following a near-playoff experience in 2009, but every time they seem to be on the cusp of failing, they come back with a series of wins. With just under 100 games left, it’s left up to the final ballot stuffers to take their places.
Miguel Cabrera (.328, 19 HR, 60 RBI) is having the definition of an all-star season for the Tigers. As mentioned in a previous blog, he has triple crown numbers and the team has frequently benefited from his place in the lineup. In the latest voting update, he trails Minnesota’s Justin Morneau by 325,000 votes and New York’s Mark Teixiera by 80,000 votes. Teixiera (.226, 12 HR, 44 RBI) is having an admittedly horrific year, and it would be an absolute crime to see him in the starting lineup this July.
Brennan Boesch (.337, 10 HR, 36 RBI) remains one of the most intriguing individuals if you’re Joe Girardi. In 20 less games than his fellow outfielder mates of Jackson, Damon and Ordonez, Boesch has demonstrated that he’s a threat at all times at the plate. However, he is not a threat on the ballot where his name does not appear. I would not be shocked, like Cabrera, that he finds his way onto the AL as a reserve.
Brandon Inge and Gerald Laird are both fifth in their positions, and their numbers would suggest that they will spend the All-Star Break relaxing and resting up. Laird has even spent time platooning while also making a number switch from 8 to 12. Inge, while a Tigers fan favorite, still struggles to get the votes from anywhere outside of the Great Lakes voting bloc.
On the pitching front, potential candidates include Jose Valverde, Justin Verlander – and my dark horse – Armando Galarraga. What would happen if Girardi, who’s frequently been at odds with MLB brass, chooses to place Galarraga in the lineup? His numbers are not bad (2-1, 3.32 ERA, 38 innings) and it would be a classy move for Girardi to give the Tigers pitcher the well deserved recognition in a game that is fairly meaningless.