Tigers' Alfredo Simon making case for All-Star nod

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News

Detroit — In case you haven't noticed (hard to imagine how), there is a campaign on to get Miguel Cabrera into the All-Star game. That there has to be one for a player so clearly deserving is absurd, but he currently trails Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer in the fan voting.

There is another Tigers player who is staging a much quieter campaign — Alfredo Simon.

Easily the Tigers' most consistent starting pitcher thus far, Simon blanked the Indians on three hits through five innings before the rains came Sunday. He is now 7-3 on the season with an ERA under 3 (2.58). He has allowed three earned runs or less in 10 of his 12 starts.

"I think I have a chance to go again," said Simon, who represented the Reds and the National League in last year's All-Star Game. "My numbers are right there. I don't win a lot of games because I don't get support from the hitters, but I think where I am right now, I have a lot of chance."

Simon, masterfully using his splitter and change-up, kept the heavy left-handed Indians lineup off balance. He struck out five.

"I feel good," he said. "I just try to mix all my pitches and everything was working really good. I am happy with the way I am pitching right now."

So are the Tigers.

"He was an All-Star last year," second baseman Ian Kinsler said. "It doesn't matter what league you are pitching in, when you are an All-Star pitcher you are capable of getting guys out. You are able to throw quality innings and that's what he's done for us so far. It's not too surprising."

Simon admitted that he sped up his pace in the fourth and fifth innings Sunday. He could see the rain clouds rolling in.

"After a delay, like two hours, I knew that was not going to be good for me if I go out there again," Simon said. "The manager tell me, that's it and I said OK. I am pitching against the Yankees (in the next start) so I am going to be strong for the Yankees."

His one regret, though, is that he won't be pitching against his old mates this week.

"Yeah, I want to pitch to the Reds, that's my old team," he said. "But I won't be available. I guess I'll just have fun and watch them play."