As a whole the Tigers sit 3 at 24-17 and in a first place tie with the Twins. Pretty good considering that at any given time almost half of the Tiger line-up is comprised of rookies. Its also helps that some players have seemingly returned to the form they were in 2006 to compliment the young guns. So let's break it down position by position and grade the first quarter
Catchers: Position grade D-
Alex Avila - One of the aforementioned rookies, although he had a bit of a taste of the big leagues at the end of the season last year. In fact he has had just as many at-bats last year as he has in this season. The problem is has 10 less hits, which drops the average over 100 points. The one saving grace has been the defense where he has thrown out 60% of runners trying to steal. Grade: D
Gerald Laird - Gerald has been one of the most disappointing players on the year. He is fighting with Adam Everett with the dishonor of being the worst hitter on the team. Add to that a terrible he's only throw out 8 of 17 baserunners, and it's tough to give Gerald a passing grade
Infield: Position Grade C
Miguel Cabrera - The MVP of the Tigers, and almost certainly in the top 3 for AL MVP at this point. In a bit of a slump lately, but he was absolutely killing the ball in April. It's not just the stats, it's the timing of the hits. There was a point in April where everyone of his home runs either tied the game or gave the Tigers the lead. The only thing keeping him from the A+ is the 5 errors (2nd on the team).
Adam Everett - If it weren't for the struggles from the guys behind the plate Adam Everett would be the worst hitter in the line-up. With a couple guys in the rotation that have National League experience, you might be tempted to use the DH on Everett. Good glove aside, it's hard to make a case why he should be in the line-up even in a platoon situation
Brandon Inge - With Inge you know what your getting, a good glove,numerous check swing strikeouts, and an occasional home run. The 34 K's to 33 hits is a little disheartening, but he seems to be the only non-Venezuelan on the team that can hit for power.
Ramon Santiago - While we keep hearing Ramon is best used in a platoon situation only, looking at the other options its hard to make a case that he shouldn't be starting full time.
Scott Sizemore - Sizemore has looked like a rookie from day one, and asking him to fill the shoes of Placido Polanco didn't help matters any. Currently down in Toledo, I think he still comes back and contributes to the team this year
Danny Worth - The stopgap at second until the Carlos Guillen Experiment takes over. Worth's first MLB hit was a infield hit that also resulted in his first MLB RBI, so he's got that going for him...
Outfield: Position Grade B
Brennan Boesch - Wow. I doubt he'll keep hitting like this, but let's all enjoy the ride. Almost half of his hits are for extra bases (14 of 29). Raburnesque in the outfield at times, but smashing the hell out of the ball behind the plate will keep him in the line-up
Johnny Damon - Has done everything you'd expect from Johnny Damon. He gets on base and lets the big boys drive him in. He's even gotten 2(!) outfield assists
Carlos Guillen - Putting him in with the outfielders, but he will spend the rest of the year at 2nd. Well at least until he gets injured again. Was actually hitting the ball well before the trip to the DL. The Tigers need his bat if only to get one of the crappier ones (looking at you Everett) out.
Austin Jackson - Yes he strikes out a lot, and his incredible luck is starting to have balls find gloves instead of gaps, but he's making people forget Curtis Granderson something I never would have believed 3 months ago
Don Kelly - Average in almost everyone. Almost forgettable, which is a good thing of your a reserve
Magglio Ordonez - Picking up where he left off the end of last season. An second only to Cabrera in all the batting categories. More importantly though he's got some of the power back. A healthy Magglio in the 3 spot is a beautiful thing
Ryan Raburn - Can't hit, can't field, can't be in Detroit.
Casper Wells - Probably just keeping a spot on the bench warm for Raburn if he figures out how to hit. But very capable of pulling a Boesch and making it hard to send back down
Starting Pitching: Position grade C
Jeremy Bonderman - Lucky for Bondo the steaming turd he put out there in Cleveland was rained out keeping his streak of quality starts alive. His stats are a bit skewed by the 10 run game in Seattle, but as a 4th starter he's been all you can ask for. Well I would like to see him pitch into the 6 and 7th innings more, but it's looking like Bondo's back
Armando Galarraga - Last year's opening day starter, opened this season in Toledo. He did what he needed to do down there and was the first one to get the call when the Tigers needed a start. Pitched well enough, and picked up a win. I'd like to see him duplicate that
Rick Porcello - I hate calling it a sophomore slump, but Rick has been not very good. Minus the seven shutout innings against the Yankees, Rick's given up at least 5 hits in all of his other starts. In 5 of his 8 starts he's allowed four or more runs. If Armando can keep it up, Rick might have a couple weeks in Toledo ahead of him to sort things out
Max Scherzer - Something isn't right with Max, and he's in a Mud Hen jersey right now to figure that out. The first start down there was promising, and I hope he gets back up if only to see his creepy two different colored eye stare
Justin Verlander - Oh Justin, why can't you pitch in April like you pitch the other months. That April was a D, but he's been an ace in May
Dontrelle Willis - For a stretch there in April, Dontrelle was *gulp* the Tigers best starter. That's a bit of an indictment for the rest of the rotation, but let's not sell Dontrelle's rebound year short. He's not going to be in the discussion for the Cy Young, but if the Tigers can get 6 innings out of him every fifth day, well then that's a million times better then I thought they would get out of him the least few seasons.
Bullpen: Position Grade A
Eddie Bonine - Has honed his knuckleball and it's been really an effective change of pace arm with the 90+ heat that the rest of the bullpen can provide.
Phil Coke - The man of a thousand hairstyles, he kind of reminds me of Todd Jones, except talented. Only has allowed runs in 3 of his 18 games.
Fu-Ti Ni - The answer to the question "How do you pronounce LOOGY?" in Mandarin...or Cantonese, I really don't know what they speak in Taiwan.
Ryan Perry -For some reason I thought Ryan was having a worse year than he is. I much just be catching him when he's walking someone. But looking at the stats its the strikeout to end the threat that I'm missing
Brad Thomas - So I may have him a dingofucker, or implied that he molests koalas, but all kidding aside he hasn't been half bad the last few appearances. Still who can resist a good toilet flushing the other way joke
Jose Valverde - He may be crazy, in fact I'm pretty confident that's the case, but I will take the Jose Valverde Dance Party, over the Rodneycoaster everyday
Joel Zumaya - When you don't walk a guy until your 13th game, and strike out 23 in that same time frame, you get an A
So there you have it. And now we have the Tigers heading out of a very difficult part of the schedule into Inter-League play, which they have used in the past to catapult themselves ahead of the pack in the standings. 41 down 121(well hopefully just 121) to go.