2008 Detroit Tigers Baseball Preview

Last season, the Tigers took a dip, going 88- 74 and finishing eight games out of first-place. The team looked solid until Gary Sheffield got injured on July 21. After that, Detroit went 30- 37 and the season was over. Kenny Rogers blood clot problem also hurt.

Detroit has a fine rotation. RHP Justin Verlander ((18- 6, 3.66 ERA, 183 SO) possesses an explosive fastball and a variable speed curveball. Next in line are RHP Jeremy Bonderman (11- 9, 5.01 ERA, 145 SO), LHP Kenny Rogers (3- 4, 4.43 ERA, 36 SO) and LHP Dontrelle Willis (10- 15, 5.17 ERA, 146 SO). If fastballer Bonderman and wily vet Rogers are healthy, they’ll be a potent two-three punch. Willis, from the Marlins, has an odd windup, keeping batters off balance, and a good mix of pitches. The bullpen situation is iffy. After the All-Star break, closer Todd Jones (1- 4, 4.26 ERA, 38 SV, 33 SO) was potent, but before he couldn’t buy a save.

The infield is stellar and the outfield close to stellar. Their .287 team batting average ranked second in the AL as did their 857 RBI. CF Curtis Granderson (.302 BA, 23 HR, 73 RBI) is a fine hitter, while 2B Placido Polanco (.341 BA, 9 HR, 67 RBI) and 3B Miguel Cabrera (.320 BA, 34 HR, 119 RBI) lead the way for DH Gary Sheffield (.265 BA, 25 HR, 75 RBI). Sheffield had an off year last season; if healthy, he’s explosive. Oh, yes, and then there’s Magglio Ordonez (.363 BA, 28 HR, 139 RBI). Watch out for his bat.

The fielding looks improved with the addition of SS Edgar Renteria (.332 BA, 12 HR, 57 RBI). Pudge Rodriguez (.281 BA, 11 HR, 63 RBI) returns and is still one of the best backstops around. The outfield is skilled.

Detroit’s GM Dave Dembrowski certainly wheeled and dealed in the off-season, bringing in RHP Dontrelle Willis, 3B Miguel Cabrera and SS Edgar Renteria—all on trades. In two years, manager Jim Leyland has led the club to 191 wins, while in three years former skipper Alan Trammell won 186. Look for another fine season from Leyland’s team.

Read more on the Tigers other AL Central division competitors like the Minnesota Twins, Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, and Kansas City Royals.

For more info on the Tigers check out the MLB official page for Detroit.


2008 MLB Preview

As usual we cover and break down all 30 of the major league baseball clubs. To read about a particular team simply click on the link of the division of where the team resides. The division pages will also give a quick thumbnail on each team and are order of finish. At anytime you can return to the main baseball preview page.

08 MLB Team Previews

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