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17 year old Cale's very opinionated view on everything sports.

Posts Tagged ‘Detroit Tigers

MLB Season Preview: #21 Detroit Tigers

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Overview: Detroit is a franchise that is struggling financially in the economic downturn of the country. This caused them to make many moves during the offseason that are more financially sound, meaning many young players. Last season, the Tigers had a mini-collapse at the end of last season and lost to the Twins in a one game playoff to be booted from the playoffs.

Offseason Moves: In one of the bigger deals of the offseason, the Tigers traded P Edwin Jackson and OF Curtis Granderson away in a three-team deal. In return, Detroit received Ps Phil Coke, Daniel Schlereth, Max Scherzer, and OF Austin Jackson. The Tigers also lost P Fernando Rodney to free agency, and replaced him with closer Jose Valverde. On the offensive side, Detroit’s only free agent acquisition was OF Johnny Damon.

Projected Lineups and Pitching Staff:

1.  CF Austin Jackson (no stats in ’09)

2. 2B Scott Sizemore (no stats in ’09)

3. 1B Miguel Cabrera (.324, 34 HR, 103 RBI)

4. RF Magglio Ordonez (.310, 9 HR, 50 RBI)

5. 3B Brandon Inge (.230, 27 HR, 84 RBI)

6. DH Johnny Damon (.282, 24 HR, 82 RBI)

7. LF Carlos Guillen (.242, 11 HR, 41 RBI)

8. C Gerald Laird (.225, 4 HR, 33 RBI)

9. SS Adam Everett (.238, 3 HR, 44 RBI)

Backup C: Alex Avila (.279, 5 HR, 14 RBI)

Backup IF: Ramon Santiago (.267, 7 HR, 35 RBI)

Backup OF: Ryan Raburn (.291, 16 HR, 45 RBI)

Backup OF: Clete Thomas (.240, 7 HR, 39 RBI)

1. Justin Verlander (19-9, 3.45 ERA)

2. Rick Porcello (14-9, 3.96 ERA)

3. Max Scherzer (9-11, 4.12 ERA)

4. Jeremy Bonderman (0-1, 8.71 ERA)

5. Dontrelle Willis (1-4, 7.49 ERA)

CP: Jose Valverde (4-2, 2.33 ERA, 25 SV)

SU: Joel Zumaya (3-3, 4.94 ERA)

SU: Ryan Perry (0-1, 3.79 ERA)

MR: Phil Coke (4-3, 4.50 ERA)

MR: Brad Thomas (no stats in ’09)

MR: Fu-Te Ni (0-0, 2.61 ERA)

LR: Eddie Bonine (1-1, 4.46 ERA)

Player to watch: CF Austin Jackson has been a top prospect in the Yankees’ organization for many years now. Finally traded as many of the Bombers’ prospects are, Jackson is getting a shot at batting leadoff in a Tigers’ uniform. Jackson is a five-tool player, and many are picking him to be the rookie of the year. With veteran OF Johnny Damon on the team to help tutor Jackson, this could be a big year for the rookie.

Prediction: 86-76, 1st in AL Central

The Tigers have some depth in the pitching staff, headed by ace Justin Verlander. Their offense will be suspect at times, but I expect Detroit to break through this season, and take the AL Central crown.

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The Most Dangerous Game

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While the Yankees take the last day of the season off today, they will surely be watching the outcome of the AL Central battle between the Minnesota Twins and Detroit Tigers. Whoever wins the Central will play the Yankees in the ALDS. Right now, if I were a Yankees player, I would be begging to play the Tigers. Here’s why:

The Tigers have been in a funk the whole month of September: Beginning on September 8th, the Tigers lost 5 straight games. The rest of the way, Detroit has gone 9-11, which has enabled them to squander a seven game lead to the Twins. Now tied on the last day of the season, the Tigers have to use their ace, Justin Verlander, in a must win game today. This means that Verlander most likely will not be the Game 1 starter in the ALDS against the Yankees, if Detroit were to make it.

Minnesota is a small market team, with small market fans, and small market players: A person would think that because a team is all-small market, that would make them weak. Quite honestly, I believe that small market teams are the most dangerous. Unlike the Yankees’ multi-billion dollar operation, the Twins current payroll is right around 72 million dollars. The Twins’ roster boasts names such as Nick Punto, Delmon Young, and Michael Cuddyer. My guess is that less than 3 of any 10 people in America have heard those names. On the other hand, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, and Mariano Rivera have been household names for years. Minneapolis, Minnesota, where the Twins are located, has about 3.5 million residents. New York has over 10 million residents, not to mention fans all across the world. No one would expect the Twins to beat the mighty Yankees, and usually that is a driving force of motivation for a team. The Twins have absolutely nothing to lose, and are really hot right now.

Joe NathanJoe Nathan: Possibly the most underrated closer in the game, Joe Nathan has 47 saves this season. He has struck out 87 in 67 innings, and has an ERA of 2.15. When it comes to the playoffs, you need a closer to shut the door. Minnesota has that, and possibly the most consistent pitcher in all of baseball. Nathan has had no less than 36 saves since 2005, and has never had an ERA above 2.70 as a reliever. Don’t expect the Yankees to intimidate him.

The Twins are the hottest team in baseball, and would be a nightmare for any team to face right now. This is very similar to the Colorado Rockies run in ’07, and with the Yankees’ recent history of postseason struggles, the Twins could definitely win the ALDS.