2010 Detroit Tigers Baseball Preview
It’s true that over the last five years the Detroit Tigers (86-77) have been competitive 2006, 2007), completely out of it (2005, 2008), a pennant winner (2006) and last season one game out of the post-season. They may not have the best team in the league, but they may be good enough to compete in this division.
The trade with the Diamondbacks brought Max Scherzer (9-11, 4.12 ERA, 174 SO), a quality strikeout starter, to the team. He’s a clear number three man. Justin Verlander (19-9, 3.45 ERA, 269 SO) is a true number one starter. His fastball can hit 97-mph and it has a quick, late jump. Righty Rick Porcello (14-9, 3.96 ERA, 89 SO) is a fast working, fastballer who can sink that pitch and change its speed.
The other two starters, Armando Galarraga (6-10, 5.64 ERA, 95 SO) and Jeremy Bonderman (0-1, 8.71 ERA, 5 SO), are questionable. If Galarraga, who knows how to expand the strike zone, can command his pitches, he’ll be effective, and if Bonderman, who is a power pitcher, can stay healthy, he will be effective.
Who is the closer on this team? If 100-mph pitcher Joel Zumaya (3-3, 4.94 ERA, 1 SV, 30 SO) can stay healthy, he could be the man. He can be dominating. Lefty Phil Coke (4-3, 4.50 ERA, 2 SV, 49 SO), who comes from the Mets, can be a good setup man. He’s got a good fastball with movement, slider that breaks and changeup that fades away. Ryan Perry (0-1, 3.79 ERA, 60 S) is a 23-year-old with a lot of talent. He’s searching for consistency.
Perhaps the biggest hope on this club is center fielder Austin Jackson who has come over from the Yankee organization, hitting .300 at AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He’s a talented hitter and fielder. Also new on the scene will be minor leaguer Scott Sizemore. He plays a good second base and should be able to hit for average. He batted .308 at AAA Toledo. Magglio Ordonez (.310 BA, 9 HR, 50 RBI) offers a veteran presence and a natural swing. He’s declining due to his age, but he’s got the smarts and experience to play right field.
First baseman Miguel Cabrera (.324 BA, 34 HR, 103 RBI) posts a solid average while smacking homers and driving in runs. DH Carlos Guillen (.242 BA, 11 HR, 41 RBI) suffered from a right shoulder inflammation that cut down precipitously on his output. Third baseman Brandon Inge (.230 BA, 27 HR, 84 RBI) is an aggressive hitter and a role-in-the-dirt fielder. He’s had knee problems and that’s a concern.
GM Dave Dombrowski pulled off a three-way deal during the winter meetings that brought some talented young guys on board. Manager Jim Leyland knows how to work with young guys and vets. This is a fine management team.
The Tigers are in a division that they can certainly win. It’s not because they’re a great team. It’s because there are no great teams in the AL Central. They could, like the White Sox and Twins, take the division. This is a three-way race.
For more info on the Tigers check out the MLB official page for Detroit.