July 21, 2016

The Tigers Are a Playoff Team

With Some Changes, the Tigers Are Playing in October 

This season's version of the Detroit Tigers Baseball Club is frustrating beyond comparison (unless you factor in 2008 and 2010, but I digress). I have questioned the manager for two years now and do think the team would be better with a change. The Washington Nationals became instantly better with the addition of a grizzled veteran baseball man in charge, Dusty Baker. The Tigers had that manager when they replaced Alan Trammell with Jim Leyland, but Leyland stuck around for only eight seasons — and, yeah, we complained about him all along.
This team is talented. This team should have swept the Minnesota Twins earlier this week but they barely competed and did not hit. The team's offense can be offensive. If Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez are going to slump at the same time, the team will virtually score no runs.

How does the season play out? The Tigers will make the playoffs, if:

  1. JD Martinez comes back as a force, solidifies the offense and plays decent defense in right field. Clearly, Steven Moya is not quite ready for primetime and Mike Aviles is not an outfielder. 
  2. The Tigers make a trade for a quality starting pitcher. Down the road, Daniel Norris will be a good end–of–the–rotation starter, but not yet. You can't rely on Anibal Sanchez and Shane Greene has proven his worth in the bullpen, alá Drew Smyly a couple years back. The Tigers have to make a trade for a quality arm, not an ace. 
  3. The bullpen becomes consistent. The bullpen is "hit or miss" on a daily basis. You never know what you're going to get. 
  4. Miguel Cabrera does not have to hit like a superstar but he has to perform like an all star, at least. His bat is so important and with the team's struggles, you realize just how much of an MVP he truly is on this Tigers team. 
  5. Any good writer has five things in any list, so my fifth point of reference is that the Tigers have to be consistent on offense. They cannot continue to believe they are the 1970s Baltimore Orioles and wait for the three–run home run. They have to — ahem — manufacture some runs. 
It's possible. We'll have to wait and see how it all plays out. 

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