September 21st, 2012
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire cautions his remarks by noting he has seen a lot more of Miguel Cabrera than he has of Mike Trout. And the stats note that Cabrera has hit better against the Twins this year than he has against nearly any other team in the league.
That said, Gardenhire makes a point in his support of Cabrera: The Triple Crown still means something.
“I haven’t seen Trout out there since the first of the season,” Gardenhire said. “I know he’s had a heck of a year and people are saying this and that about him. I’m just tipping my hat to Cabrera. He’s the best player in this league. He should be the MVP. If we were to stop right now, there’s no doubt in my mind. Going for a Triple Crown, that’s an MVP season. He has his team in a playoff hunt. Whether they get there or not can’t solely depend upon him, but he’s the reason they’re in it right now. And that’s an MVP. He’s the best player in our league.”
The Triple Crown, he argued, trumps the sabermetric statistics.
“All I’m going to tell you is if you’re going for a Triple Crown and you’ve got his numbers, you can saber all you want to. Those numbers blow your brain,” Gardenhire said. “And I know Trout’s do too, that’s pretty good numbers. A couple of other guys have decent numbers. But look at Cabrera’s numbers. That’s ridiculous. That’d right up there with some of the best players in baseball. It doesn’t make much sense to me to be arguing about this, to tell you the truth.”
The Tigers, manager Jim Leyland in particular, are staying cautious about Max Scherzer’s status for Sunday against the Twins. After a throwing session off flat ground in the Comerica Park outfield on Friday, though, Scherzer sounded fairly confident he’ll be able to go.
He’ll have one more throwing session Saturday, when he’ll throw all his pitches to make sure there’s no discomfort, before Leyland makes his final decision. The way he felt Friday, though, Scherzer isn’t expecting problems.
“I’m expecting I should be able to make the start, seeing how my arm is responded to the treatment and the medicine,” Scherzer said. “I’m getting the inflammation out. This wasn’t a structural damage thing. This was just inflammation. After talking to doctors and realizing there’s no structural damage, I don’t have any fears or anything about hurting my arm any further. For me right now, it feels like the inflammation’s out, so my arm feels good.”
Friday’s throwing session lasted about five minutes. Scherzer tried to duplicate his delivery to make sure he didn’t feel anything around the deltoid area where he had problems last time out. It wasn’t a long session, but it was enough to leave him encouraged.
Leyland said he will not do anything to risk Scherzer’s arm.
“I’ll have to be totally convinced by our medical team,” he said.
To that point, Leyland said he’ll have Drew Smyly on hold for the next couple days until they know whether they’ll need him to start Sunday. Smyly threw Thursday afternoon, entering with a bases-loaded situation in the ninth inning, but it basically amounted to a mound session like he would normally do before a start. He’ll throw a little bit before the games this weekend, but nothing extensive.
Quintin Berry and Alex Avila return to the Tigers lineup — Avila for the first time since last Sunday, Berry for the first time since Tuesday.
The Twins, meanwhile, load up on left-handed hitters against Rick Porcello, several of whom (especially Denard Span and Ben Revere) have had some success off him.
- Austin Jackson, CF
- Quintin Berry, LF
- Miguel Cabrera, 3B
- Prince Fielder, 1B
- Delmon Young, DH
- Andy Dirks, RF
- Jhonny Peralta, SS
- Alex Avila, C
- Omar Infante, 2B
P: Rick Porcello
- Denard Span, CF (11-for-29 against Porcello)
- Ben Revere, RF (7-for-19 off Porcello)
- Joe Mauer, C
- Josh Willingham, LF (5-for-8 off Porcello)
- Justin Morneau, 1B
- Ryan Doumit, DH
- Trevor Plouffe, 3B
- Jamey Carroll, 2B (6-for-17 off Porcello)
- Pedro Florimon, SS
P: Sam Deduno