Who Will Represent the Detroit Tigers at the MLB All-Star Game in Seattle? Our Bold Predictions Might Surprise You

Move over, "All-Star representatives" - the Tigers are bringing the big guns this year!

The assignment was to predict who will represent the Detroit Tigers at this year's MLB All-Star Game in Seattle. We'll get to that, but first, let's talk about some terms.

In recent years, Tigers fans have tended to embrace a bit of a loser's mentality – always expecting the absolute least from this ball club. One piece of evidence for this is that people speculate about who will be the Tigers' “All-Star representative.”

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Riley Greene, Detroit Tigers

Do you know what an “All-Star representative” is? It's the guy who gets to go to the All-Star Game because every team has to be represented, and he plays for a bad team that has no legitimate All-Stars. So last year's pennant-winning manager looks up and down the roster of this horrendous team, thinking, “Do I really need to pick one of these guys?” He finally decides on the reliever with the lowest ERA, and whammo. This or that guy is the “All-Star representative.”

For our purposes here, we are not presuming the Tigers have to settle for an “All-Star representative.” And the way you know that your team's All-Stars are real is when more than one of them get picked. One is an obligation. Two? They both deserve it.

Who will represent the Tigers as All-Stars this season?

We are going to hold the Tigers to higher expectations. We expect two All-Stars to head to Seattle to play for the American League in July. One is a fairly conventional pick. Then there's the other.

Tiger All-Star 1: Riley Greene

This is probably the safest pick I could make here, but it's also the most rational. Riley Greene showed last year that he's a dynamic player who's capable of changing a game with his presence.

Greene was Tiger of the Year last year, although his actual offensive numbers were hardly mind-blowing. He hit .253 with five homers in 93 games. He will have to improve his numbers all around to live up to expectations this season.

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The bet here is that he will. Greene missed the first half of last season after fouling a ball off his foot late in Spring Training, and when he did come back it took some adjusting for him to start getting comfortable with Major League pitching.

But Greene is simply too talented not to make major strides this year. His biggest obstacle in making the All-Star Game is the plethora of talented outfielders in the American League. He will need a batting average above .300 and 12-to-15 home runs by the All-Star break to earn a berth. I think he can do it.

Tiger All-Star 2: Spencer Turnbull

Here's the one you didn't see coming, but hear me out.

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True, Spencer Turnbull didn't pitch all last year and hasn't pitched since midway through the 2021 season.

But does anyone remember what Turnbull did just a few starts before that heart-wrenching diagnosis that led to Tommy John surgery? Of course, he pitched the eighth no-hitter in Tiger history. (In Seattle, by the way, where this year's All-Star Game is being played.)

Turnbull was coming into his own as a top-shelf starting pitcher before he got hurt. He was 4-2 with a 2.88 ERA in nine starts before the arm trouble. That included an excellent ratio of 44 strikeouts to only 12 walks.

Is it a bit bold to predict him as an All-Star when he's just coming off a long injury layoff? Of course. But there's a pretty good track record of players coming back from Tommy John surgery and returning to effectiveness. Turnbull has had nearly two years since his surgery, and he showed effectiveness in spring training – with a 1.00 WHIP and a batting average against of only .222.

I'm not interested in the mindset that will be satisfied with a .500 record and a 4.50 ERA. The man looked like an All-Star the last time he was healthy. He's healthy now. Ergo, All-Star.

One more thing:

If Rob Manfred doesn't let the All-Star players go back to wearing their regular team uniforms in the game, someone needs to send him a case of exploding cigars.

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