Detroit Tigers 2013 Opening Day!!!
HAPPY OPENING DAY TIGERS FANS!!! This season is one that I am very excited for. The Tigers are clear favorites to win the AL Central and have also been linked to making another return to the World Series. I am really excited about their lineup and their starting rotation this year. The additions of Torii Hunter and Victor Martinez back to the lineup as well as the clubhouse is going to be very crucial this season. They are both veterans that are great clubhouse guys that will be able to take the younger stars under their wings and teach them how to cope with the game mentally and physically. Getting Omar Infante and Anibal Sanchez for a full year with give the Tigers a great advantage to what they started with last year. The AL Central has improved a lot but they should still be able to get it done.
I love what Jim Leyland has done with his roster but there are a couple changes that I would like to be done:
1. The closer position has been the most debated topic so far this spring. I completely agree with the fact that the Tigers kept Rondon down in the Minors to develop his game, he needs to work on the control of his pitches. A lot of people just want pitchers to go up there and throw as hard as they can and that will take care of anything else. This might work for a little while but these hitters would figure him out pretty easily if that were to happen. I think that they have very capable guys who can get the job done.
Phil Coke is my favorite player for the job. He show what he can do last year in the playoffs and has a bull dog mentality that would be huge for the guy with the most mental position in the game. Closers have to know that they are the best and they can get the job done every night. He has to be able to rebound from a bad night and not let any failures get him in a slump. Octavio Dotel can come in and pitch in any scenario, the guy is a complete veteran that knows what to do in almost every situation but I would not feel as comfortable with him in an everyday closer role.
Benoit did have a subpar year last year for what he has done in the past. He didn’t give up that many hits but when he did they seemed to be home runs. Hopefully he will have a rebound year this year and I think he is another guy who could close in certain situations but I wouldn’t feel as comfortable with him in the job as Dotel or Coke. Villareal and Albuquerque are two young pitchers who have great stuff and could develop into great relief pitchers. I love the potential that they have a could see them fill the role in a few years but just not this year especially with the three pitchers that are in front of them.
2. I wish there was some more speed of the bench but they did not really have many options for it. Quintin Berry would have been nice to be able to keep on the roster but he was hurt for a while during Spring Training so he needs some time to get into form. I am really excited to see what Tuiasosopa can do and I love that he can play the corner OF and IF positions. He adds a lot of versatility to go along with Kelly who plays the same positions but hit from the left side instead of Tuiasosopo’s right-handed bat. Berry will be up sooner or later this season and so will Danny Worth, especially if a Peralta, Infante or Santiago do get hurt.
3. The starting rotation is very good but I would have given Smyly the starting job. Both Porcello and Smyly are very capable pitchers especially for the 5th starter. I would have liked a lefty in the rotation to get some different lineups from opposing managers. I also like what Porcello does in only a couple innings of work, which is what he would be doing in a long relief spot on the team. Through his first 2 innings of work during his games he has a 3.83 ERA while a 4.27 ERA in his 3rd and 4th innings and then a 5.02 ERA in innings 5 and 6. He did have an awesome Spring Training but those games don’t really mean much, he has a ton of potential to be great and I could see them displaying him in the 5th spot so that they could get a big trade for him towards the deadline date.
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