Monday, June 5, 2017

2017 Tigers stadium giveaway team set

Just like I did last May, I was able to wrangle a Tigers team set (normally reserved for kids 14 and under) from a work friend's husband, a guy who works at the park.  In that case it was actually the previous year's (2015) set, but this time I was gifted with the set from this season, which is even better (though now I gotta see if I can fill in that gap!).

These cards were given out on Kids Opening Day, which was a Sunday, April 9 matchup against the Red Sox, the third in that series and third home game of the young season.  I'm not sure why that day couldn't have been celebrated on Saturday instead, but it didn't make any difference to me.  I'd attended the previous day's game, a win, and went to this one as well, though unfortunately it ended up in the loss column, mostly thanks to the 'pen.

Anyway the set's a bit bigger this year, checking in at 32 total cards:  30 players, the mascot "Paws", and a header; Current manager Brad Ausmus got left out this time, and it's probably just as well.  Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Michigan was once again the sponsor, and the design was a solid one that was quite a bit different than the 2015 version.

Of course I'm most interested in the Verlander, but I thought I'd take a look at who was included in the set and where they're at now, a few months into the season, while showing off all 32 cards:

  • Avila:  brought back in the offseason to be the backup backstop, he's put up some very good numbers and is currently #2 in WAR for hitters on the team
  • Boyd:  was recently sent down to AAA Toledo after a rough 10+ performances
  • Cabrera:  not enjoying his usual strong start, partially due to injury, he'll hopefully heat up soon
  • Castellanos:  after a few years of steady improvement, has regressed a bit, both at the plate and in the field
  • Collins:  outrighted recently but went unclaimed on waivers after poor offensive performance
  • Fulmer:  continued right where he left off in his 2016 ROY campaign, leading the team in wins and ERA and WAR
  • Greene:  leads all pitchers in appearances and has done fairly well overall out of the 'pen
  • Hardy:  not as good as Greene, but not bad

  • Iglesias:  the usual--pretty good glove, not a ton of bat at SS
  • Kinsler:  hurt but back soon, though returning to poorer-than-usual stats
  • Lowe:  dumpster fire of a free agent mistake was thankfully released before the season
  • Machado:  utility middle-infielder is holding his own for the time being
  • Mahtook:  former Rays first-rounder doesn't appear to be the answer in CF, but then again, nobody else has been either
  • J.D. Martinez:  returned from injury suffered in spring training with a bang, going on a tear that includes 10 HR in just 22 games in what will likely be his final season with the team before leaving for free agent bucks
  • Victor Martinez:  not awful numbers but it's still crazy that he's hitting cleanup behind Miggy (Dave Cameron says so!), and he's old and slow
  • McCann:  starting C (when healthy) has Mendoza-like AVG but Avila-like pop as a third of his hits are HRs
  • Moya:  showing a bit of pop but otherwise zero hitting ability in AAA

  • Norris:  the big get in the David Price deal has some things to work on but the talent to be very good
  • Pelfrey:  other free agent dumpster fire to be released before the season, signed with the White Sox and hasn't been quite as awful, with a 1-0 record in two starts against his former team
  • Rodriguez:  has seven saves in 12 opportunities, and with the velocity down, may not get another shot as the stopper
  • Romine:  stats aren't blowing anyone away but I consider him a pleasant surprise as a decent hitting utility guy who can play anywhere
  • Rondon:  his three appearances so far have been three too many, and it may be getting close to the point where the team should cut bait with the overweight reliever with attitude and effort issues
  • Ryan:  not great in his eight relief appearances so far, so it's AAA for him, but at least his wife had a baby back in April so that's cool  
  • Sanchez:  fell off a cliff the last couple seasons and agreed to try to work things out in AAA
  • Stumpf:  a surprise inclusion in this set, the RP has thrown 0.1 innings in two recent appearances after replacing Boyd on the roster
  • Upton:  I'm still hoping Upton and his albatross of a contract are gone after this season (opt-out) but at least he's performing much better this year, leading the hitters in HR and WAR

  • Verlander:  currently 4-4 with an ERA north of 4.50, so it hasn't been awesome, but I'm glad he's still around
  • Alex Wilson:  he's been pretty good out of the pen again this season and remains a good get in the Porcello/Cespedes deal with the Red Sox
  • Justin Wilson:  the new closer has been pretty good too, with one blown save in six chances
  • Jordan Zimmermann:  a 5-4 record means he's not in dumpster fire territory, but oh that terrible contract...
  • Paws:  hasn't flipped off any fans like Mr. Met, so he's got that goin' for him

Here's a closer look at the front and back of Verlander's card:
That's another team set in the books.  I don't know whether or not I'll recall this season fondly, but I'll enjoy these cards--including another new Verlander--no matter what!


  1. Even though it's just a single season and career, I like that these have stats on the back. That's more effort than some sets we get these days.

  2. Terrific cards. Like to get a set.

    1. You'll be getting an email from me...

  3. These do look sharp. The Brewers stopping issuing a team set a few years ago. It's a shame since a lot of short-term Brewers had their only cards in those sets.