September 12, 2014

The Detroit Tigers of the American League

One Game Makes a Difference

It's Friday and the Tigers are a game out of first place in the American League Central Division. This is unexpected because the division was supposed to be weak and the Tigers were supposed to be really good. The season hasn't gone as planned — even from Spring Training when a couple of key cogs in the line–up went down injured.

I don't know what hitting advice Courtney gave to Victor Martinez in January, but it sure did pay off for Martinez. He's having his best season, may garner some MVP votes, and is looking at being a sought–after free agent. 

Jose Iglesias and Andy Dirks were expected to play big roles on the team in 2014. Neither will play for the team at all. Pitchers have been injured at various times during the season — Anibal Sanchez continues his injury–prone ways by being disabled no less than two times. It's my guess that if the Tigers play in the post season that Sanchez will be coming out of the bullpen. I think he would be a solid arm to do so.

Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera have both played at a slower pace than expected. Verlander has had a plain lousy year — let alone for a guy making the amount of cash he'll make. Cabrera has had a decent season, but not a Miggy Season.

The rookies have played decent: Nick Castellanos has had about the season you would expect, but the short stop position hasn't provided the Tigers much offense. We hadn't expected much assuming that Iglesias would be the SS; however, our short stops haven't done much.

Alex Avila seems to call a decent game and hit in the clutch on occasion, but he isn't much of an offensive threat. Ian Kinsler has mostly been what we've expected, except he's been incredible on defense. We do somewhat miss Austin Jackson's defense in CF, but we don't miss his strike outs. I would be remiss if I didn't mention the year that JD Martinez has had after the Astro's released him.

I would say that if the Tigers still had Doug Fister, they would probably be seven games in front of the Royals; however, they traded him away to open a spot in the rotation for Drew Smyly, who has pitched smashingly for the Rays since the big trade for David Price.

I still think the Tigers will win the Central and make a good run for the World Series. I don't know if this team has what it takes, but if they get hot at the right time, anything could happen. The design of this team is one that's more for the post season (haven't we heard that before) but I think the speed might play more in October than the power does in June. We'll see. Pitching has a tendency to win out. Except for two pitches last October, the Tigers might have been playing for all the marbles instead of golfing.

Restore that Roar! Let's go!

No comments: