With Detroit Tigers pitchers and catchers reporting in 39 days, I want to send some positive thoughts out for what has been a slow off-season.
Normally about this time each year, Detroit Tigers owner Mike Illitch swoops in with forcing a big signing and saving the Tigers off-season. This is not something I expect this year with $181.2MM on the books and six players set for arbitration (another $12.6MMM estimated), and Detroit closing in on paying a luxury tax.
The good news however, Detroit can still contend for the AL Central or a wild card spot in my opinion. Without a doubt, Cleveland got stronger this off-season, but Chicago and KC seem weaker with their off-season moves, and well the Twins are what they are. This could help Detroit with the unbalanced schedule and put some more wins on the board.
Furthermore, Detroit was in playoff contention right down to the last series in 2016 and that is with all the injuries that plagued the team, as well as Justin Upton’s struggles for the first two thirds of the season.
To stay on the positive train a bit longer, we can also be excited about…
- Nick Castellanos breakout season before the injury
- A full year of Rookie of the Year Michael Fulmer
- Hoping Justin Upton is settled in and ready hit for a complete season
- A healthy Jordan Zimmermann, Anibal Sanchez, Daniel Norris, and Victor Martinez
- The resurgence of Justin Verlander
- Further growth from Bruce Rondon
- Bounce back years for Mark Lowe and James McCann
- The name Joe Jimenez
- And of course…Miguel Cabrera
Since I’m being positive, I won’t mention…
- All the injury prone guys
- D. Martinez and/or Justin Wilson may not be a Tiger by Opening Day
- JV may slide backwards as may Nick C
- We still don’t have a proven center fielder (would have liked Ben Revere!)
- The inconsistency of this team
Regardless, this cold weather has me dreaming of warmer, sunnier days at the park!