Thursday, November 03, 2011

Avila Wins Siver Slugger, Cabrera Robbed

Tigers catcher Alex Avila has won his first American League Silver Slugger award after leading all catchers with a .895 OPS and 31.2 Batting Runs.  He also was among the top ten in the league regardless of position in both categories.  The closest one to him statistically was Indians receiver Carlos Santana with a .808 OPS and 21.8 Batting Runs. Rangers catcher Mike Napoli had 38.7 Batting Runs, but was frequently used at first base and designated hitter and appeared in only 66 games behind the plate.  It was a well deserved award for Avila and could be his first of many.

On the other hand, Tigers slugging first baseman Miguel Cabrera failed to win an award despite being the top offensive first baseman in the league by a wide margin.  Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez won the award despite finishing far behind Cabrera in OPS (.957 versus 1.033) and Batting Runs (51.4 versus 71.3).

Gonzalez probably won the award because of his advantage in RBI (117 to 105), but he also led the league in RBI opportunities with 486 base runners.  Cabrera had 460 runners on base in his at bats.  Do not blame the sports writers for this robbery.  Just like the Gold Glove Awards, it is the MLB managers and coaches who vote for the Silver Sluggers. 

Another Tiger who could make a strong case for a Silver Slugger was Jhonny Peralta, who led all AL shortstops with a .824 OPS and 16.3 Batting Runs.  Instead, Asdrubal Cabrera captured the award with a .792 OPS and 15.2 Batting Runs.  This one was close enough where I won't call it a robbery though.       


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