Welcome to our MLB Fan Previews. Peter Gammons can give you all the inside info, John Kruk can remind you not to eat that extra donut and Steve Phillips can give you hope that you'd make a great GM ... but all these 'experts' combined can't top the true passion of the everyday fan. So that's what we're trying to provide you with here. Real thoughts and predictions from real fans. Hope you enjoy! Today we continue with the AL Champion Detroit Tigers.
The Detroit Tigers were the Cinderella story last year. Just three years after losing 119 games, the Tiger made it to the World Series. The only thing that could have made it better was winning it. As a die-hard Tigers fan all my life, I haven’t had much to cheer about over the past 15 years. I clearly remember sitting in the dollar bleachers at Tiger Stadium to root on my favorite team, no matter how bad they were. Those were the days when 1,000 fans at the stadium was a good turnout. Not anymore, we finally have a reason to cheer
Reasons for Optimism:
1) Jeremy Bonderman- Bonderman will be considered the ace of the staff this year, after career highs in Inning Pitched (214) and Strikeouts (202) which was second among
2) Justin Verlander- Justin was the 2006 Rookie of the Year for a reason. His 17 wins was fourth among all American League pitchers and had an ERA of 3.63.
3) Gary Sheffield- His hand is healed and will not have to worry about playing the outfield.
4) Jim Leyland & Dave Dombrowski- Jim Leyland is back in the dugout for the Tigers and Dave Dombrowski arguably one of the best General Managers in baseball. Jim Leyland is the #2 Coach/Manager in all sports according to ESPN.
5) The bullpen- The Tigers had one of the best bullpens in baseball last year, and this year should be no different. Led by flamethrower Joel Zumaya and closer Todd Jones, a one-two combo you wouldn’t want to face in the late innings.
Causes for Concern:
1. Kenny Rogers- The veteran left-hander was placed on the 15 day DL today with a fatigued arm and will miss at least one start. If his arm is already tired and we haven’t even finished spring training, how will his arm hold up for an entire season?
2. Sophomore slumps- The Tigers relied heavily on three key rookies last year, for them to have the dreaded “sophomore slump” would be devastating to this team.
3. Carlos Guillen- Carlos committed 28 errors last year at SS, tie for most by any player in both leagues. Although he has avoided major injuries, Guillen has been plagued by many minor injuries in his few years here in
4. Strikeouts- The Tigers hitters struck out a total of 1,125 times last year. You can’t win ball games if you can’t hit the ball.
5. Joel Zumaya- Guitar Hero 2 is available in stores on April 3rd, hopefully Joel has learned his lesson from last year.
Projected Lineup- (and batting order)
1) Curtis Granderson (CF)- .260 AVG., 19 HR's, 68 RBI's (159 games)
2) Placido Polanco (2B)- .295 AVG., 4 HR, 52 RBI's (110 games)
3) Gary Sheffield (DH)- .298 AVG., 6 HR's, 25 RBI's (39 games)
4) Ivan Rodriguez (C)- .300 AVG., 13 HR's, 69 RBI's (136 games)
5) Magglio Ordonez (RF)- .298 AVG., 24 HR's, 104 RBI's (155 games)
6) Sean Casey (1B)- .272 AVG., 8 HR's, 59 RBI's (112 games)
7) Carlos Guillen (SS)- .320 AVG., 19 HR's, 85 RBI's (153 games)
8) Craig Monroe (LF)- .255 AVG., 28 HR's, 92 RBI's (147 games)
9) Brandon Inge (3B)- .253 AVG., 27 HR's, 83 RBI's (159 games)
Projected Rotation (2006 Stats)
1. Jeremy Bonderman- 14 Wins, 202 K, 4.08 ERA
2. Kenny Rogers- 17 Wins, 99 K, 3.84 ERA
3. Justin Verlander- 17 Wins, 124 K, 3.63 ERA
4. Nate Robertson- 13 Wins, 137 K, 3.84 ERA
5. Mike Maroth- 5 Wins, 24 K, 4.19 ERA
3 BOLD Predictions:
1) Tigers win 96 games and win the Central Division and will finish with the best record in the American League.
2) Jeremy Bonderman will be a legitimate contender for the Cy Young.
3) Tigers win World Series!
Utility Men (Recommended Blogs)
Share your thoughts on the 2007 Detroit Tigers. What can they do for an encore?