2009 Detroit Tigers Baseball Preview

The Detroit Tigers (74- 88) never seemed to get out of the box last season. It was a season in which many thought they might go all the way. After all, they had acquired some quality players in the off-season, including first baseman Miguel Cabrera, All-Star shortstop Edgar Renteria and left-handed pitcher Dontrelle Willis. The Tigers lost their first seven games, sputtered to a fifth place finish and ended the season 14.5 games out of first place.

The pitching staff is thin. Righty Justin Verlander (11- 17 W/L, 4.84 ERA, .254 BAA) has a two- and a four-seam fastball (92-96 mph) with good up and down movement. He has a problem with high pitch counts. Jeremy Bonderman (3 -5 W/L, 4.29 ERA, .273 BAA), who is coming off of a blot clot problem, offers a nifty fastball when he's healthy. His slider shows good depth. Armando Galarraga (13- 7 W/L, 3.73 ERA, .226) is a sinker/slider pitcher with a consistent 88- 93 mph fastball. Look for him to continue to improve. Edwin Jackson (14- 11 W/L, 4.42 ERA, .281 BAA), another up and coming guy, offers an active fastball, a power slider and a decent changeup. Lefty Dontrelle Willis (0- 2 W/L, 9.38 ERA, .209 BAA) brings both a two- and four-seam fastball with good movement. He struggled last season with his delivery and injuries.

Miguel Cabrera (.292 BA, 127 RBI, 37 HR), Curtis Granderson (.280 BA, 66 RBI, 22 HR) and Maglio Ordonez (.317 BA, 103 RBI, 21 HR) all offer power and run producing potential. Veteran DH Gary Sheffield (.225 BA, 57 RBI, 19 HR) can still hit. Placido Polanco (.307 BA, 58 RBI, 8 HR) is a good contact hitter with excellent bat control. There's not much speed on this team.

The Tigers are a decent defensive team. The middle is good with 2B Polanco playing tenaciously and SS Everett offering good range and an accurate arm. Third baseman Brandon Inge is athletic and gets a good jump on the ball. Catcher Gerald Laird is a better-than-average backstop. At first, Cabrera can be a liability. In left field, Guillen has been hampered by injury and in right Ordonez, who plays smart, has lost a step or two. In center, Granderson gets good jumps, runs solid routes and shows nice speed.

GM Dave Dombrowski, who's one of the highest-paid in his field, has tried to buy a club that can win it all. Last season, the team spent more than $130 million in payroll. Although Dombrowsk has a contract through 2011, folks want to see results. Manager Jim Leyland is in the last year of his contract. He knows his stuff and can get a lot out of a little.

Think “rebuilding” for this season and at least the next. The Tigers are a long way from the magic team they fielded in 2006. You remember them? They took the AL Wild Card, upset the Yanks in the playoffs and won the AL Pennant. That can happen again but not for a few more years.

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.


2009 Baseball Preview

The 2009 Major League Baseball season is here and Maddux Sports once again has unveiled their annual preview of this years summer pastime. We go in-depth on all 30 baseball teams as well as our divisional predictions including order of finish. To find your favorite team click on the division links to the right. At anytime you can return to the 2009 baseball preview page.

09 MLB Division Previews

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