Originally written on The Detroit Sports Site  |  Last updated 10/19/14
WAR, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing! In the minds of some baseball fans, this familiar song refrain will never change when it comes to the sport’s verion of WAR (wins above replacement). Many consider the complicated statistical mean a waste of time when evaluating a player, while others argue it does calculate clear value. After the Tigers took two out of three games against Cleveland thanks in part to two slick plays by one player, though, it’s looking like Detroit might have baseball’s next up and coming WAR daddy on their roster. It could be argued that Jose Iglesias won both games with small yet important plays. Friday night, he turned a miraculous double play which saved a run and allowed the Tigers the chance to score more runs later in the game. Saturday, it was Iglesias’s well-placed squeeze bunt which tacked on insurance runs late in the game. Both plays are representative of the premium WAR places on good defense and run manufacturing. Never mind WAR for a second and consider what each play meant for the Tigers. Friday’s play was pointed to as the vital moment of the game and called “one of the best plays I’ve ever seen” by Indians manager Terry Francona. Saturday’s bunt, meanwhile, was labeled “genius” across media and internet circles, while being lauded by Cleveland’s play by play team due to it’s difficulty. Iglesias poked the pitch high out of the air, still managing to advance it far enough that Austin Jackson would have a chance to score. When Dave Dombrowski added Iglesias to the Tigers at the end of July, this is precisely the impact he had hoped the new shortstop would make. With Jhonny Peralta in the fold, the Tigers might have a few more home runs to their credit, but it’s unlikely Peralta would have been able to make two such plays that turned each game on a dime. Iglesias has already saved numerous runs with his fantastic defense, and the fact that he can bunt while lashing singles and doubles could easily lead to more run production or manufacturing, especially if the Tigers fall into a late season or playoff slump offensively. Iglesias does everything well, from fielding to advancing runners, which is represented by his solid 2.2 career WAR for three shortened seasons in the majors. He might not have the home run prowess of others in his lineup, but Detroit doesn’t need that. They need the type of timely contributions Iglesias delivered last week. This past series was vital for Cleveland, who needed to take at least two of three games to consider themselves a September threat. Instead, Iglesias helped Detroit thwart the Indians yet again. It turns out that WAR might be good for something, after all. Before all the winning against Cleveland, the Tigers had to salvage a miserable midweek series against the Oakland Athletics. They did so in memorable fashion, winning via walk-off home run on Thursday afternoon. As one fan pointed out in our Facebook feedback of the week, there was something extra special behind Detroit’s stunning 7-6 win. Rich Nelson: That was so great to see, and it wasn’t even Miggy who had to do it. With Miguel Cabrera hurting, that was important, Rich. In two weekend wins against Clevleand, the Tigers didn’t nesisarily miss Cabrera either, scoring seven runs on Friday night and 10 on Saturday. They’re getting run production across their lineup, from players like Torii Hunter, Jackson, Prince Fielder, Omar Infante and Iglesias. Should Cabrera continue to hurt, that will be important as the Tigers attempt to give him a rest. Max DeMara is a senior editor at The Detroit Sports Site. You can find him on Twitter @SportsGuyTheMax
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Agent: Joe Maddon prepared to sit out season if need be

Report: Chandler Jones could miss rest of season

Report: Army football enticed recruits with alcohol, women

Report: Kobe viewed Dwight Howard's departure as 'positive'

Lions suspend CJ Mosley, send him home from London

Federal judge blocks New Jersey sports betting law

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Bucs sign Gerald McCoy to seven-year extension

Tim Tebow lectures Florida fans about booing

Report: Shonn Greene arrested after parking in handicap spot

Report: Joe Maddon wants a very hefty salary

Memorabilia dealer at center of Todd Gurley scandal fired

Colt McCoy on learning he was starting ‘it’s about f—ing time’

Couple dresses up in Ray Rice Blackface Halloween costume

WATCH: Kentucky DB Blake McClain lays out Miss. St. WR

WATCH: Dwyane Wade videobombs himself

GRAPHIC: Cam Atkinson shows how close he was to losing eye

WATCH: 350-pound Arkansas lineman throws TD pass

Penn State fans blew air horns outside Ohio State's hotel?

WATCH: Oregon's Charles Nelson has impressive punt return TD

WATCH: American flag rips during Game 3 national anthem

WATCH: Tony Parker draws foul by simply yelling 'hey'

Video: Tom Izzo takes the stage with KISS on Midnight Madness

Eight NFL records that won’t be broken for a long time

Big trouble for Bruins: Chara out 4-6 weeks, possibly more

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Report: Army enticed recruits with alcohol, women

Penn State fans blew air horn at Ohio State players' hotel?

Tim Tebow lectures Florida fans

Trouble for Bruins: Chara out 4-6 weeks

Joe Maddon opts out of contract with Rays

NBA Replay Center debuts next week

World Series win = Giants dynasty?

Reliving the worst college football game of the last 10 years

NFL teams facing must-win scenarios in Week 8

What the return of Luis Suarez means for Barcelona

Programs with a lot on the line this week

Wilson denies rumored Harvin rift

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.