The Detroit Tigers are just a few games out of first place in the AL Central division, thanks to some key guys stepping up. However, like every team in baseball, the Tigers have a few guys slumping. Here are three guys that are hot and three that are not.
Up: Nicholas Castellanos
Castellanos has been the Tigers’ best player in 2018. The 26-year old is hitting .310 with nine home runs, 22 doubles and 41 RBI. Not only has he been hitting, but Castellanos has been excellent in the field as well, committing just two errors. Castellanos is a rising star in this league and should make his first career All-Star appearance this year.
Down: Miguel Cabrera
In case you haven’t heard, Cabrera is out for the season with a ruptured biceps tendon. Before the injury, Cabrera was hitting .299 with three home runs, 11 doubles and 22 RBI. The Tigers will miss his production at the plate, but John Hicks and Niko Goodrum should provide enough production to replace Cabrera.
Up: Jose Iglesias
Iglesias has been up and down this year, but in the month of June, he’s been one of the Tigers’ best hitters. In June, the 28-year old is hitting .294 with six doubles, two triples and four stolen bases. The Tigers have acquired a lot of infield prospects over the last couple of seasons, so if the Tigers are planning to move on from Iglesias, now would be a good time.
Down: Dixon Machado
Machado wasn’t expected to be a great hitter, but his .206 batting average is a bit underwhelming. He has played great defense for the Tigers throughout the season, but his bat hasn’t been consistent, making it tough for Ron Gardenhire to give him regular playing time. Niko Goodrum should continue seeing a lot of time at second base while Machado works on his swing.
Up: Joe Jimenez
Jimenez has been dominant in 2018, putting up All-Star caliber numbers. In the month of June, the 23-year old has a 1-0 record, 0.00 ERA and 12 strikeouts in eight appearances. If the Tigers decide to sell at the deadline, Shane Greene could be on the move to a contender, making Jimenez the Tigers’ closer. He is 2-for-4 in save situations this season, but both blown saves were in early May, and he’s allowed just one earned run since.
Down: Daniel Stumpf
Stumpf is currently on the DL and hasn’t appeared in a game since May 28. In 2018, Stumpf is 1-3 with a 5.71 ERA, 1.90 WHIP and 14 strikeouts in 28 games. His role on the team is to get leftys out and he hasn’t been able to do it. Left handers are hitting .286 against him while rightys are hitting .314. A DL stint could allow him to work on his issues, but he cannot be trusted in tight games.