View Full Version : Spring Training Preview 3/11/05: Detroit Tigers

03-11-2005, 06:18 PM
Detroit Tigers

Key offseason additions:
OF Magglio Ordonez
RP Troy Percival
RP Kyle Farnsworth

Key offseason losses:
RP Esteban Yan
3B Eric Munson

General Outlook:
They didn't lose anyone of much importance. But otherwise, it wasn't a very good offseason for the Tigers. At the beginning of the offseason we heard talks about how they would pursue free agents such as Carl Pavano, Derek Lowe, J.D. Drew and others. They struck early and signed Troy Percival to a 2-year deal. Then, they kicked back for a few months before Scott Boras came begging to them to take Magglio Ordonez. They landed him with an enormously rich contract. But they failed to improve their starting pitcher anywhere along the line. They'll rely on the middle of their order to carry them in a pitchers ballpark. We'll see where that takes them. At the least, their starting pitchers will have a little more help.

Possible starting lineup:
CF Alex Sanchez
SS Carlos Guillen
C Ivan Rodriguez
RF Magglio Ordonez
DH Dmitri Young
1B Carlos Pena
LF Rondell White
3B Brandon Inge
2B Omar Infante

They're obviously going to score some runs. Their lineup is deep. Craig Monroe should probably be starting for them but he'll be on the bench. There's no doubt that they will be able to score some runs in a hurry. But, they're also very injury prone. Carlos Guillen isn't fully recovered from a torn ACL. We all know about Magglio's issues. Pudge is always an injury risk. Rondell White is injury prone. There's a lot of injury concerns there. They are a bad break or two from really going south. Monroe is a nice player player, but he can't match Pudge or a healthy Maggs. Their offense is going to have to score a lot with their pitching.

Possibly starting pitching rotation:
Jason Johnson
Mike Maroth
Jeremy Bonderman
Nate Robertson
Wil Ledezma

Yeah, not very good. Bonderman is the best of the bunch. He's likely to have a nice breakout year and should be their ace by the end of the year. As of now, the top of their rotation isn't good enough to contend. None of these guys is a guarantee to post an ERA near the low 4's, much less near the 3's. Bonderman has the best shot of doing that, but that's no sure thing. Short of a couple of huge breakouts/career years, this rotation isn't good enough for them to contend. They did try to upgrade their bullpen. Percival might still have one more good year left. But you have to wonder when he'll break down. Urbina is a good fallback option, but there are still rumors that he could be traded. The rest of the bullpen is shaky. Jamie Walker is a good lefty-specialist. But can Franklyn German finally learn to become a pitcher rather than a hard-thrower? Same question for Kyle Farnsworth. There's potential for their bullpen to be good, but there's just to many questions to consider it a positive right now.

Overall Prediction:
4th place; 74-88

Player that will surprise:
SP Jeremy Bonderman - I'm not sure how much of a surprise it is when so many people expect it. I see a significant improvement coming form him this year. I wouldn't be surprised to see his ERA drop a whole run from last year with about 17 wins. Like I said earlier, he should be their ace by the end of the season, but that won't be enough to avoid 4th place.

Player that will disappoint:
SS Carlos Guillen - I like Guillen as a player. I wanted the Sox to pursue him last offseason before the Tigers traded for him. However, I can't see him repeating last years numbers, especially coming off a torn ACL. He'll still put up solid numbers for them, but 20 HR's and a .920 OPS? I'd look for a dropoff from that.

Comments? Does anyone read these? Please let me know because if I'll stop if no one cares. But if you want them to keep coming, let me know. Even if you don't normally respond but enjoy reading them, just let me know so I don't feel like I'm wasting my time here.

03-11-2005, 06:21 PM
I hate to admit it, but I really like the Tigers lineup...

If that pitching holds (doubtful), they could make some noise...They always give the Sox trouble anyway

03-11-2005, 06:33 PM
If it wasn't for that pitching staff, the Tigers might be a contending team in the AL Central, but they won't be. The biggest question mark really for me is whether or not their key hitters can stay healthy. Almost all of them spent some amount of time on the DL. They'll be improved but I think they'll still be looking up at Minnesota, the White Sox and Cleveland.

03-11-2005, 06:47 PM
I read them.

03-11-2005, 07:23 PM
I too read them and enjoy them. Thanks for the hard work.

03-11-2005, 08:57 PM
My take on the Tigers are they have a good lineup but Sanchez and Guillen are not likely to back up their career years of last year with similar numbers.
I-Rod is the key to the tigers, If he goes down this team is a 65 win team. I'm not sold that Maggs on his own can carry a team and I know White and Young can't. The rest of the lineup doesn't really scare me, though I like Inge for his versatility. Pena is essentially Russell Branyan, a lot of power, low average, high strikeout. You keep him because he's cheap power, but he's easily replacable.

The rotation has two guys who I think can become front rotation guys, Bonderman obviously but I think Ledezma is a guy to watch. Not just cause he kills the sox but because he's shown improvement in each of the short stints he gets in the majors. I want to see what he can do in an extended stint in the majors.

03-11-2005, 08:59 PM
I too read them and enjoy them. Thanks for the hard work.

I'll second that.

03-11-2005, 09:09 PM
That Tiger offensive looks very potent, as much as I hate to admit it. But I agree with the saying "Pitching Wins Championships". I know it is just the AL Central Championship, but I really don't see them going anywhere unless they somehow land an absolute ace or two.

03-12-2005, 01:57 AM
I've read all of them and they're well done, Jjav. It's one of the best ideas I've seen in a while.

03-12-2005, 09:50 AM
Keep up the good work, Jjav. I read these religiously.

03-12-2005, 10:19 AM
I particularly like reading your NL previews because I tend to focus all of my attention on AL teams. Thanks for your hard work! :smile:

03-12-2005, 07:26 PM
Take a look at Ledezma's ST numbers:

3.1 IP, 7 H, 4 BB, 16.20 ERA, but he has struck out 8 guys in those 3.1 IP. :o: