For Detroit Tiger fans, it seems like every time we turn on the television, we see one of our favorite Tigers — they just happen to be wearing a different uniform.
More than any year before, it seems like former Tigers are playing key roles for other teams in in the MLB playoffs.
It starts with the Houston Astros where Justin Verlander is pitching as well as he has in any point in his career. He pitched five games for the Astros after being traded from Detroit and won all five with an ERA of 1.06. That was during the regular season. He won his first playoff start for Houston, too, giving up just two runs.
Cameron Maybin joined Verlander on the Astros and drove in 13 runs in 21 regular-season games with four stolen bases. Coming off the bench for Houston, he is hitless in one at bat so far this postseason. It is actually amazing to think that is the only postseason at bat he has ever had.
The Arizona Diamondbacks are also loaded with former Tigers. J.D. Martinez was their big acquisition at the trade deadline and he has also been as good as he has at any point in his career. He led the majors with 29 home runs after the All-Star break. That’s more than Giancarlo Stanton or Aaron Judge.
J.D. batted .302 in 62 games with Arizona during the regular season. He amazingly had 65 RBIs in those 62 games and scored 47 times. He was the biggest addition on any team at the trade deadline and helped the Diamondbacks soar into the postseason. After going hitless in the wild card game, he is 4-for-8 with a home run in the National League Division Series so far.
Former Tigers reliever Fernando Rodney is the Diamondbacks closer and had 39 saves during the season, bringing his career total to 300 even. It’s sobering to realize that he has that many saves and has been an All-Star on three different teams (Rays, Mariners, Padres), but none of them were the Tigers.
Plus former Tigers starter Robbie Ray, who was an All-Star this year after going 15-5 with a 2.89 ERA.
Even the Arizona Manager is former Tigers utility infielder Torey Lovullo.
That is all with Arizona!
Across the diamond, former Tiger All-Star outfielder Curtis Granderson is wearing the uniform of the Los Angeles Dodgers. He has been basically a platoon outfielder, but seen a ton of action.
Max Scherzer is still one of the best pitchers in the game for the Washington Nationals. Another former All-Star pitcher Edwin Jackson is on Nats’ roster, too, along with Jacob Turner.
Alex Avila and Justin Wilson are on the Chicago Cubs and have been key contributors.
In the American League, the Boston Red Sox have Rick Porcello, David Price and Doug Fister, three former Tiger starters. Porcello won the Cy Young last year but has struggled this year. Price is coming back from an injury and Fister is making a comeback of his own. Rajai Davis is a reserve outfielder for the Sox.
In Cleveland, the now-bearded Austin Jackson is an outfielder making big contributions this postseason and of course do-it-all reliever Andrew Miller, who dominated in last year’s postseason, is back at it again for the defending American League champs.
The Yankees have former Tigers’ hand Chad Green, who has seen action in the postseason on the mound.
That makes 17 former Tigers making a huge impact this postseason, well I guess they are not all making a HUGE impact, but plenty of them are. That is not even including Justin Upton, who was traded to the Angels midseason after making the All-Star team with Detroit. The Angels finished just behind the Twins for the second wild card spot.
It is tough enough watching the beginning of the rebuilding in Detroit with a bunch of no-name players. But it’s bittersweet watching all of these former stars in the postseason. Of course, we want them to do well, but it isn’t for the Old English D.
The only question now is who do you root for? I would love to see one more Verlander-Granderson showdown. Those have been so rare and the one this year was pretty epic. Any way you slice it, there will be former Tigers on both teams in the World Series. I suppose that will have to do for Tiger fans this year.