Paul Wezner, Executive Editor
It would be easy to pick someone like Miguel Cabrera or Curtis Granderson, already productive players that should benefit from continuing to play everyday, and facing some new, unproven competition with the September 1st call-up date. With that being said, I think we're going to see a surge from Gary Sheffield this September, that could give the Tigers some options with the aging designated hitter. Sheffield is finally healthy, and has begun to strike the ball with the authority baseball fans remember him doing in the past. Sheffield has the chance to reach 500 home runs, and with things coming around for him, it could make for a small bright spot in what otherwise will be a September preparing for 2009.
Mark Anderson, Managing Editor
Given the up and down nature of this year's Tiger team, it is increasingly difficult to determine who will put on a nice show in the waning weeks of a disappointing season. None of the recent callups really inspire a ton of enthusiasm right now -- though they may still hold some promise for the future. I believe Matt Joyce may have another extra-base barrage left in him before this season is done; possibly enough to help solidify his role heading into 2009. One player I do think will put on a strong show to not only silence some critics, but to help his cause during the offseason, is Fernando Rodney. He appears past the shoulder and neck woes that have plagued him the last two years, and is throwing with velocity, some semblence of control, and he is not overusing his change-up. If this pattern continues, he could be primed for a fine month of relief work that re-ups Manager Jim Leyland's confidence in him as a critical bullpen element.
Jason Avery, Associate Editor, Amateur Baseball
I'll go with a somewhat obvious pick in Miguel Cabrera. He has had a strong second half by hitting .297 with 13 homers and 47 RBIs. The Tigers' first baseman has scuffled over the last week by going 5-for-24, but there is the possiblility he could finish with 35 or more homers and better than 120 RBIs, which is certainly nothing to sneeze at considering the woes some of the other Tigers hitters have had this year. Hopefully, this will be the first of many banner seasons at the plate for Cabrera in a Tigers uniform.
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