Verlander up for top honor at Players Choice Awards

Justin Verlander is a finalist for not only the American League’s Outstanding Player, but Major League Player of the Year honors among the Players Choice Awards to be announced Nov. 3 on MLB Network.

The MLB Players Association, which administers the awards through player balloting, announced the three finalists for each award on Friday. Verlander is the lone Tiger up for any awards, but the fact that he made the list of finalists for the biggest award on the docket says a lot about his chances.

The awards tend to serve as a preview for the more traditional Major League awards, as voted on by members of the Baseball Writers Association of America and announced later in the month.

Like the AL Cy Young award, Verlander is an overwhelming favorite to win AL Outstanding Pitcher honors. He captured the AL’s pitching Triple Crown by topping all AL pitchers with 24 wins, a 2.40 ERA and 250 strikeouts, becoming the first American Leaguer to do that since Johan Santana in 2006 and the first Tiger since Hal Newhouser in 1945.

Verlander also led AL pitchers with 251 innings, a .192 opposing batting average and a 0.92 WHIP (walks plus hits per innings pitched) ratio.

His competition for outstanding pitcher includes Angels ace Jered Weaver, who barely lost out to Verlander for the league ERA title at 2.41 while posting an 18-8 record for an Angels team that finished second to Texas in the AL West. The other finalist is James Shields, whose 11 complete games left him just five outs shy of Verlander’s innings mark while going 16-12 with a 2.82 ERA and 225 strikeouts over 249 1/3 innings.

No pitcher has won Player of the Year since it was added to the Players Choice Awards in 1998, but Verlander has a very good shot to be the first. His two competitors are his former Detroit teammate Curtis Granderson, who hit 41 homers with 119 RBIs while leading the league with 136 runs scored, and Boston’s Adrian Gonzalez, who finished second to Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera in batting average at .338 while driving in 117 runs and posting a .410 on-base percentage.

The Player of the Year award is the players’ equivalent of MVP honors, but it includes players from both leagues. How Verlander fares in balloting won’t necessarily reflect how his AL MVP chances went, because it’s hard to tell whether player sentiment on voting a pitcher for a traditional position player honor reflects the views of writers who vote on MVP. Still, it would be a very nice harbinger for him.

Cabrera did not make the list for Player of the year, nor did he crack the three finalists for AL Outstanding Player despite his AL batting crown. It’s worth noting, though, that balloting among players was conducted in mid-September, before Cabrera’s final-week run to lead the league in average.

Players Choice winners in each category will designate charities to receive grants from the Major League Baseball Players Trust, which promotes community involvement while raising funds and attention for worthy causes. A total of $260,000 in grants will be given out from the awards.



2012. Regardless of who we aquire or groom and promote, we need upgrades or smart commitments by Illich and DD to make this team better. Someday we will have a starting Lefty who can really pitch well. Someday we will have a really good leadoff hitter who can defend. Someday we will have a thirdbaseman who can hit over 280 with some power and can play the field. Someday we will have baserunners who can really run. Could Kenny Rodgers be our pitching coach? I like Kelley, he and Santiago need to play more.

I know that the Tigers were tired and bruised up late in the season, but I don’t see this as an excuse for not advancing. I see it as something new to manage and a progression point for Leyland. Rayburn may be a late season star but if he isn’t contributing early, he makes everyone else work harder and as the season progresses, tire faster. Without the September Run, the Tigers wouldn’t have pulled away from the pack, but they probably wouldn’t have been so fatigued also. The same goes for any position that requires a lot of management or drama during the season. the adjustments and personalities require a lot of work. I think what these young Tigers still need is a veteran presence and the expectation, when healthy, that they can win any game they are in. They need a really cool cat. Is Polanco healthy?

I like the Yankee lineup. With another year they will adress their pitching issues and become even more scary. Jeter will never leave New York but I really enjoyed watching him hit to right field. Cano is a God. Texas will probably continue to be strong. I expect Cleveland and Kansas City to get stronger.

They way back to the post season won’t be easy, possible with this group, yes. World Series?

Jason wrote a really nice article on this past Friday.
Saw another one by Matthew Cammarata in the Free Press today about a report card on the individual performances of the Tigers roster in 2011. Also pretty good.
One thing to keep in mind about that and our chances for 2012 (with the improved teams in the Central) is that we had a half dozen guys that had career type years this year. You can’t count on all of them repeating that.
Been looking for some of our minor leaguers and how they are doing so far in witner ball. The truth is not very many are bothering to play winter ball as far as I can see. Justin Henry is playing in Venezuela and we have 3 pitchers in the Arizona Fall League. (And no, Andrew Oliver is not pitching well at all).
I would suspect Casey Crosby and Dre Smyly may both surpass Andy next year. Perhaps Oliver can be dangled?

Justin Henry is mentioned here:
He is hitting well the ball but direct to someome´s glove.
His team, “my” team is 2-7 . The season last 62 games . So, he can be released if he does not begin to find a hole.One player has already been released. That is not uncommon here. Sparky came as a manager and was released after he began 0-8. Willie Horton became player-manager after 15 games because the first manager was unable to win. He ended as champion of the caribbean in spite of his weird managing style.
truth is not very many are bothering to play winter ball as far as I can see..Venezuela is a dangerous place to live. The quality of the league is well below its historic level.The extreme fatigue clause allow team to ban their players from playing and others dont want to take risks.
Here we watched playing: Craig Nettles,Ron Guidry,Dave Parker, Barry Bonds, Cecil Fielder. And with Henry´s team: Rob Deer, Greg Maddux, Gary Maddux, Ryne Sandberg, Terry Francona. It was a AAA plus league today is just over the instructional league. Puerto Rico league have been in the brink of dissapearing for years. Mexico always was below the rest of the caribbean teams.Dominican league does not have space for foreigners because they have a good supply of native talent. Then there is no gain for playing here .And it is easier to play in Arizona, close to home . Usually, players leave in droves their team around Xmas because of homesickness.

Couple of Lion comments (game not over yet):
Boy—great talent defensively but I can’t believe the number of missed tackles. It would have been even worse had the kick return not been called back on a penalty in the 1st quarter.
The 1st 4 or 5 games Matt Stafford looked like a bonafide NFL QB

The last 2 games he has looked like a High School QB.
Very poor (predictable) play calling and bad execution.

Penalties seem to be the worst at the worst times.
Long way to go for this team.

2 minutes left now and on cue—bad penalty (but not really-pretty picky on the part of the official) and homogenized play calling.
Not impressed with Staffort in terms of intellecutal and maturity level. Good Arm but not a complete QB.

that we had a half dozen guys that had career type years this year… it was true too of the 1983 team. The numbers of 1984 team were in general worse than 1983.
Parrish had more hrs but less rbis and far less avg.
Evans went from 30 hrs to 16
Sweet Lou batted for less avg because he started to bat looking for the fences.
Trammell batted 350 and the Tigers went 35-5 . After that his injury botherd him again and he went down a little and the team played for just over 500 the rest of the way. it was enough.He deserved the second place in the MVP voting
The committe in third
Lemon was the same
Herdon lost his power against RHPs forever
Morris began 10-1 (he won games first and third of the season)and ended 19-11. 20 in 1983
Of course there were five players with career years in 1984: Hernandez, Lopez, Gibson,Petry and Wilcox.
Twins? done for a while. Mauer is unable to hit a hr in Target Field. Morneau is trying to recover from a extremely serious injury.Broken arms for pitchers and a depleted farm system because they traded their true Ace for nothing
White Sox? a rookie manager remembered only because a 40 years old man used his to clean the floor and a complete flock of albatroces?
Cleveland? If they survive the sophomore jinx and their perennial injured core players are able to play, they are the real threat
Kansas? they will be next year what Cleveland was in 2011.A promise that will fall short .2013, beware of them.
If DD do the right moves , Detroit will be there again and again

Kulpa is from Saint Louis and made the worst call in a WS in years to hand the game to Saint Louis. The couple of brothers from Detroit made one bad call after another against Detroit

El Tigre, is that the play at first on the DP with Napoli off the bag? That was a terrible call and the game changed on it. There just doesn’t seem to be any good umpiring anymore. Any play that doesn’t go within the normal flow seems to confuse the umps.
I’ve read about the history of Caribbean baseball and it’s sad what happened to it. There was a time when the Negro League players would come down and, together with the local players, it was the best baseball in the world.
I think Trammel should have won the MVP in 1984 over George Bell. The voters went with the offensive numbers Bell put up and neglected Trammel’s play at shortstop and his leadership.

Agree with you , in 1987 ,Trammell had the best offensive season for a shortstop since the 50´s. 22 hrs and 104 rbis And the Tigers won 8 out of the last 10 . Seven against the Jays by one run. With Bell batting 250 in those seven games.The Tigers won , so the MVP was his.
Bell was awarded the MVP because he hit 46 hrs. Fielder was the first to bat 50 since Mantle in the AL and in MLB since Foster in 1977 but the award went to Henderson. The Tigers ended last was the rationale.Then why A Rod won it for batting 50 hrs with last place Texas when everybody was hitting 50 hrs?
I mentioned 1984 because i thinks his contribution was more important than Gibson´s . I know that is sacrilegy but… In 1983 , Trammell was out for 15 games. Detroit record 7-8 and the season went out too.
Yes, the Napoli´s double play. The Marques strike zone was not perfect either
Here played Gibson. Both ,Bob and Joshua. in the 1954 Caribean series, Willy Mays for Puerto Rico began 0-15. He ended 16 for 31 and MVP

Bob Gibson. Now, there was someone I remember from the sixties and especially pitching against the Tigers in ’68. He was fabuloous and fearless. Not many like him around anymore.

what’s the deal with purcey and pauley – w.r.t. next season and their contract status?

Anyone have any guesses at who, if any, RHP bullpen pieces will be signed in the offseason? Here is a list of the current free agents:

Right-handed relievers
Jeremy Accardo (30)
Luis Ayala (34)
Danys Baez (34)
Miguel Batista (41)
Shawn Camp (36)
Todd Coffey (31)
Juan Cruz (31)
Octavio Dotel (38) – $3.75MM club option with a $750K buyout
Chad Durbin (34)
Jason Frasor (34) – $3.75MM club option
Jeff Fulchino (32)
Juan Gutierrez (28)
LaTroy Hawkins (37)
Aaron Heilman (33)
Ryota Igarashi (33)
Jason Isringhausen (39)
Scott Linebrink (35)
Mike MacDougal (35)
Guillermo Mota (38)
Pat Neshek (31)
Ramon Ortiz (39)
Micah Owings (29)
Vicente Padilla (34)
Tony Pena (30)
Chad Qualls (33) – $6MM club option with a $1.5MM buyout will be declined
Jon Rauch (33) – $3.75MM club option with a $250K buyout
Fernando Rodney (35)
Takashi Saito (42)
Yoshinori Tateyama (36) – $1MM club option
Dan Wheeler (34) – $3MM club option with no buyout; vests with 65 appearances in 2011
Kerry Wood (35)
Jamey Wright (37)
Michael Wuertz (33) – $3.25MM club option with a $250K buyout
Joel Zumaya (27)

My guess is none of ’em by Detroit.

awe come on now – we def. need another guy in the bullpen…at least a righty and maybe a lefty too. you’re thinking trade then? with what our thin farm system?

Dan at the Lions game today, first one since they moved to Ford Field. Not a good game, highly disappointed, your right though they got penalties at all the wrong times they really shot themselves in the foot!

You know, I was a season ticket holder for the Lions when I lived up there, and now I barely watch the NFL. Too many silly rules, too many reviews, and too much talk. I can’t even keep up with it nor care to. I realized one day that I knew more about short track speed skating than I did about the NFL. Your own mileage may vary but my tank ran empty.

That was a darned good job of pitching by Holland. He was so sharp he was able to get his strike zone expanded late in the game.

Nice stuff about the winter leagues and remembering the ’84 team. Don’t know much about the above named pitchers. Great season Justin. Thanks for being a Tiger. All these teams talk about so many needs even if they make the playoffs. Everyone wants a superstar at every position. Pitching, defense, and hitting. Yes, with a few moves the Tigers should contend for many years and that’s what the fans want, to be in the race at the end of September.

Justin Henry. 1 for 5 . 2B .rbi. His line: 268.333 .293(SLG)
Bryan Villareal.In his debut : 0.1ip. 3 hits. 5 er .2 BB . 1 k. era 8.44

Thanks El Tigre. Do the Aguilas play in Maracaibo? Is this the city in which you also live? You mentioned dangerous. Is this because of the proximity to Columbia?
Very interesting to hear the current background of Venezuelan winter ball.
I remember running across some Venezuelan baseball cards when I was a kid.
They were mostly North American players (but some were not) and the back said they were made in Venezuela. Wish I still had them.
I have enjoyed your comments this season. Gracias y hasta pronto.

Ditto, from me, too. We have another baseball fanatic in El Tigre and so knowledgeable!

Yes, Aguilas del Zulia play in Maracaibo. Yes , I live in Maracaibo.
Until 1983, the year when the economics problems began here, the baseball league had a creole quota. That is ,a minimun of 7 players for Caracas and La Guaira( the team of Argenis Salazar , Alfredo Pedrique both played SS for Tigers, Luis Salazar the Tigers MVP in 1988,and Ozzie Guillen) and 6 for the others , in the roster had to be venezuelans. 32 of the 150 players were venezuelan, the rest mostly americans . That is why most card were from american players
The causes are many : the tolerance for columbian terrorist by the goverment here is one. But a corrupt, inefficient judicial system, that creates impunity is the main cause. Only 3% of the estimated( there are no official numbers since 2003) 18 k murders a year,go unresolved.
Nobody asked but. My parents did graduated studies at the University of Michigan. And I was born in Ann Arbor , Michigan. I have not been there since i was 8 months old.Still, Im a michiganian( michigander). I have not been in the USA since 1973,that why my english is not enough good.
Thanks to all.

Only 3% are resolved. Sorry.

Ann Arbor is where I’m from, so I guess that makes us “homeboys.”
There is a typo in one of my earlier posts. I meant to say that Trammel should have won the MVP over George Bell in 1987, not 1984.
Two notes about the 1984 Tigers that many don’t consider: even after the 35-5 start, Toronto pulled within 3.5 game on June 6. I was at the June 4 game when HoJo tied the game in the 9th and Bergman won it with the 13-pitch walkoff homer, but the Jays won the next two to pull within 3.5 before Morris outpitched Clancy in the 4th game of the series. The other point is one the media misses a lot: the Tigers were 69-53 after the 35-5 start. That’s .566 ball, not the .500 that gets reported so often.

hey i’m in ann arbor too! not from….sadly tho

Hey, I travel to Ann Arbor on business every other week. I still like to remember the “84 Tigers. I was 27 and had a VCR. I recorded every game. Talk about modern technology. Thanks for the reminder as I will pull them out and watch some. I am a little bored with TV now that my baseball season is over.

Any thoughts on ‘LaRussa’s bullpen miscommunications’ last night? Ridiculous. Like the tigers pitchers over throwing the bases in 06.

Text messaging.

Sign language.

smoke signals? JL would be down.

Carrier pigeon.

I did get a kick out of LaRussa’s half hearted attempt to pat Lynn on the back as he walked off the mound after finishing his dangerous assignment of the intentional walk.

I tought JL was managing in disguise. The true, I thinks he ordered a hit and and run after his batter were on the road to1 for 12 with risp. That is the only explanation for the second attempt in the 9th inninning.
A venezuelan commenter said during the game that perhaps La Russa was expecting Washington to call a pinch-hitter but Washington did no go by the book forcing La Russa to give the intentional walk.
I know Ann Arbor only by photos

I have a hard time listening to Buck and McCarver. If the broadcast was in Spanish ti would be the same, I still would only be able to understand just a little bit of what they are saying.

I’ll give Fox props for their camera work. That reaction by LaRussa on that infield dribbler was priceless. Likewise the one in the ALCS when Leyland groaned over that check swing call on Nelson Cruz. Without those replays, we’re left with the impression that these managers spend the entire game staring stoically out at the field.
On the other hand, one thing Fox does wrong is zero in on the fans too much. Keep it on the participants, please. Just my opinion.

And they spend way to much time looking at and talking about Nolan Ryan.

I’d rather see the Ryans than that other couple they sit with.

oh my, Laura has the same look on her face almost the entire game, am guessing she is not a really big baseball fan.

You mean that “I’m stuck at this state dinner” look? I think it’s frozen permanently onto her face.

Here’s your Tigers outlook from MLB Trade Rumors:
I think too many people are dismissing Santiago as a viable secondbaseman. I’d rather upgrade at third.

Rich, thanks for the link. I also liked reading the comments. What’s funny is that networks like ESPN and FOX did not have many of their experts pick the Tigers. They all liked the Twins and White Sox. Now they will all pick the Tigers so we can’t sneek up on anyone. Jhonny was solid at short but would he be a team guy and play 3rd? Then I like Reyes. One more pitcher. Let Ramon play 2nd. Please don’t trade any starters, especially Porcello. Do the Tigers have a good farm system?

golly i sure do love! I’ve asked this before but, what is the deal with pauly and purcey….are either of them under contract for next year?

are either of them answers for the bullpen going forward? if so maybe we only need to pick up 1 bullpen piece….otherwise i’d suggest several pieces need to be picked up. and Fu Te Ni doesn’t count even though i’d like to see what he has this year too.

Purcey couldn’t throw strikes and was a monumental flop here. He’s in Toledo. If they wanted to cast off Sizemore, don’t bring a guy over here in exchange that will cost us ballgames.
At the time of the Fister trade, I thought that Pauley was the key piece in the debate over whether we gave up too much. After seeing what Fister can do, Pauley had nothing to do with it; it was a good trade. Pauley himself had a good first two months followed by a bad two months before we acquired him, after which he didn’t pitch much. He had two noteworthy outings. One was for us in that comeback Saturday/Fox win over Chicago. The other was a multiple innings performance when he shut down, you guessed it, the Tigers. I don’t yet have an opinion on him. He may fall into that infamous “just a guy” category or he may improve.
Quite often the Tigers hand out spring training invites to veteran pitchers, but I don’t think that would be quite enough to solidify the pen. I don’t know; anybody else got an opinion on this stuff?

fair enough – I asked because pauley is a righty who had good numbers in seattle….and we need a good righty…….and i didn’t get much of a “heck yeah!” when i asked if anyone like one of the free agent bullpen righties. So that leaves trading someone – ugh!

I’m not going to lie, I am nearly certain we will need to scoop up a FA righty reliever…..hopefully that one from NY (Luis Ayala).

Ya know, I really liked watching Sizemore play in Grand Rapids. I hope he becomes an All Star. Maybe Pauley or Purcey will discover their stuff. We led the Majors in bullpen walks.

I see Harison is STILL scheduled to throw game 7. What are they stupid?
If they don’t throw Holland in Game 7 (if necessary) they will be lynched in Texas.
He would have had 4 days rest for that game on Friday.

It really was a strange year for the bullpen where we ended up with a lot of question marks despite having two late inning rocks.
Hopefully management undertakes a thorough review of the bullpen and not just involving player stats. Surprising that despite having 2 late innings rocks, the rest of the pen ended up as question marks with even Coke tarnished.
There is no question the way Benoit started with an ERA around 6 by June that he would have been long gone as a Tiger if it weren’t for his 3 year, $16.5m contract.
Benoit had been very average in his 8 years at Texas (4.79 ERA & 1.42 WHIP) before his ridiculous 2010 year at Tampa – 1.34 ERA & 0.68 WHIP.
Management gave Benoit all the time needed, even dropping to mearly relief for one or two appearances from memory. The faith extended sure paid off with Benoit even improving on his 2010 figures post break with a 1.33 ERA and .67 WHIP.
Hopefully Benoit can be a lesson for management to show more faith in rookie relievers rather than the typical 2-3 starts displayed. And hopefully we will never see a rookie having a first start in a bases loaded close game situation – that this occurred on two occasions was definitely the low point in Jim’s otherwise hugely successful year.

As expected at MLBTR they see DD looking for Aramis Ramirez. He wont be cheap. He is the needed bat but suspicious glove.
And affordable starter? That take out mark Buerlhe out of the ecuation: LHP, inning eater.But costly,his option almost for sure declined is for 17 m.
Scutaro, plays second and third but his option is said to be picked. A trade with Bosox?
A trade with the Reds for the disgruntled Phillips?
Rollins instead of Reyes?
How could be Zumaya a Tybe B FA?

Good question regarding Zumaya.

that OBP is so sweet tho!

Can’t answer that question on Zumaya. That surprised me, too. But I don’t think the Tigers get a compensation pick if he signs a minor league contract somewhere.

Jim’s buddy Tony L. showed some cracks in the facade on Monday night. Old age, guys, old age. Your brain takes timeouts at inopportune times.
I think the key to the game 7 starter is that “if necessary” part. If the Cards win game 6, we’ll see where Wash is on that issue. Ron makes plenty of his own odd moves.
I saw that stat on Benoit awhile back and was pretty amazed that he’d actually matched his 2010 performance once he got his act together.

Old age? In a World Series, Rich? Tony doesn’t seem to rely on anyone except himself. At least Jim bounces ideas off Lamont. I’m thinking maybe Tony had one of his “hunches” you know, like Leland does every so often. I just can’t fathom there being some sort of miscommunication between him and the BP coach. And, there certainly have been lots of times Jim didn’t have anyone warming up in the BP when it was obvious he needed to. Stubborn old men, imo.
We were only 2 games away from being in the World Series. I’m missing my Tigers like crazy. Even my son called and asked me what I “was gonna do” after the Tigers lost.

is it silly to think Pudge could play the 40 something games behind the plate? He batted .218 this year and .266 the year before (which was better than alex and laird LAST year). We could get him for 1.5M prolly on a 1yr contract.

The problem is that he was traded because he asked it. There were some issues. He did not want to rest even if his avg rised 30 points after he was given an extra day off.

well assuming we are talking about a older-wiser pudge. I know when he left several years ago it was mutually agreeable.

Hopefully DD will recognize the need for speed. Will Peralta play 3rd? Does that solve the quest for a 3rd sacker? Is Rollins too old? Do you pay Reyes the money?

Yes, he’ll be 33 in November. I’d rather they look at guys in their 20’s, who aren’t so injury prone.

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