Sunday, April 11, 2010

Tigers Roundup: Week One

Tigers (5-1): The Tigers opened the season with a pair of divisional foes, in the Royals and Indians, going a combined 5-1, a brilliant beginning to their season. What really stood out to me was the hitting of three players. Offensively, the team was carried by a trio of players, the first two you know all about, Magglio Ordonez (1.286 OPS) and Miguel Cabrera (1.403) either of whom could win the AL Player of the week. The other is rookie Austin Jackson (.848) who has carried over a hot spring into the regular season.

One the mound, starting pitchers Dontrelle Willis (6.0IP / 2ER) and Jeremy Bonderman (5IP / 2ER) both pitched very well, giving the club a pair of badly needed starts to help propel them forward. While I am highly skeptical about either of those two pitchers being in the rotation come June 1st, what they can give the Tigers in the short run will buy management some time to decide what if anything they can bring in to provide a more long-term solution.

The problems for the Tigers were at the bottom of the lineup. Gerald Laird, the regular starting catcher had just one hit, and they got next to nothing from rookie second baseman Scott Sizemore.

The two biggest issues that the Tigers are going to face this year will be what they do beyond their six good hitters. Will they try and a make a move to address shortstop, catcher, or third base, or will they prefer to stick with the current options? The Tigers have Alex Avila who they can try a catcher if they want to improve the offense. He brings good power, but strikes out a ton, and would be a defensive downgrade.

The biggest concern I have however, is the rotation. In spots 1-3, the Tigers are great, but Bonderman and Willis simply aren't going to be long for the rotation. They do have some options in Eddie Bonine, and Armando Galarraga, but those aren't exactly ideal either. Should the Tigers suffer an extended injury to any of their top three starters, it could jeopardize their season entirely.

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