The Detroit Tigers started off the season 27-12, and it looked as if they were an unstoppable team on a mission to win the World Series. Then they hit a rough stretch, and were knocked out of first place for a short time. They now have it back, but they still have some issues to fix.
The Tigers team this year has a chance to be one of the better Tigers teams in recent memory, and could’ve been one of the top teams in the past 10 years if the bullpen wasn’t so bad. What Dombrowski needs to do is acquire some real bullpen talent at the trading deadline. No Jose Veras, but a solid arm, that’s young and can be a mainstay in the bullpen. Dombroski needs to recover from his Fister and Veras trades and needs to pull off some moves that put the Tigers in an even better position than they are in now, like they were in 2011. I also think Joba is going to continue to have a good year, because everything is there for him and he looks great, and Nathan will be rebound and be a good closer down the stretch.
The Tigers offense is fine. Getting Andy Dirks midseason will be bigger than most think for the offense. Also, Suarez can help the Tigers at shortstop in a way similar to Avisail Garcia did the in 2012. Also, Castellanos will continue to develop into a good third baseman and have a good rookie season. He could be the five hitter that the Tigers need, if he reaches his full potential for the season. Victor Martinez and Miguel Cabrera are going to battle it out for the batting title, and Cabrera may not get to 44 homers again, but his power will come back and he should have a hot month and get more than 30 bombs on the year. The key is for Austin Jackson to get better and for Avila to make contributions when the Tigers need him. Hunter will most likely have better numbers in the second half and JD Martinez seems like he’s a useful role player, with lots of power. Also, Ian Kinsler is an unsung hero. He will continue to do it all with the bat for the Tigers. Rajai Davis started off super hot, but now his average cooled off a bit, and is where it’ll likely stay. The main thing is that he will continue to steal bases.
The Tigers rotation is also fine despite its struggles. Drew Smyly and Anibal Sanchez are doing all they’re asked of and more and Scherzer and Porcello both hit small rough patches, but I expect them to return to the form they were in during April. Verlander’s struggles are by far the most concerning, but the Tigers just have to roll with him for now. He had a good outing against the Indians and I don’t think he needs to change the type of pitcher he is. He just needs to cut down on walks and get his confidence back. His mechanics are fine, and everything will come around when he stops having one bad inning in each game.
This team is better than their current record suggests, and as long as they win 90 games, which they should, I think they have the AL Central in their hands. The Royals could be pesky, but 90 wins should do it. Every team has its rough stretches, the Tigers just need to climb out and show us their real talent. They can still win the World Series they’ve been going for. They have a really good team. The schedule isn’t really an issue, it’s a bit tougher, but the Tigers have talent to compete with anyone, and they just need to go out and win most of their series.