Justin Upton: Tigers still feel we can win division
The Detroit Tigers are one of a handful of teams who need to decide before the Aug. 1 trade deadline if they want to be buyers or sellers. If Justin Upton was in charge, the decision would be a no-brainer.
The Tigers lost five of seven games heading into the All-Star break, but they have won three of four on the other side. They remain 5.5 games behind the Cleveland Indians in the AL Central and 2.5 out of the second wild card spot. Upton is so confident he is ignoring the wild card.
Justin Upton on trade deadline: "Everybody in this clubhouse thinks we can still win this division. I don't see why we can't. "
— Jason Beck (@beckjason) July 19, 2016
While the Tigers have ultimately been a disappointment with their 49-44 record, there’s no reason they can’t come alive. Starting pitchers Jordan Zimmerman and Daniel Norris are set to return from the disabled list soon, and they could give the rotation a major boost if healthy.
It would also help if Upton himself picked it up. The 28-year-old is hitting just .236 with 10 homers and 39 RBI this season. His .289 on-base percentage is by far the worst mark of his career since he played just 43 games in his rookie season back in 2007. Miguel Cabrera, a career .320 hitter, is batting just .287 on the year.
Basically, there’s a lot of room for improvement. The Tigers aren’t so far out of playoff contention where they have no choice but to sell, but do they trust what they have going forward? We’ll find out in the next two weeks.