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The Detroit Tigers 2017 Preview

by admin on Thursday, March 30th, 2017

Detroit TigersDespite not being among the favorites to win the World Series, the Detroit Tigers start the 2017 season with a team full of stars looking to shine once again and end the year among the best teams in baseball and with a postseason ticket.

In 2016, the Tigers missed the postseason for a second consecutive year as they finished with a record of 86-75 and in second place in the Central Division. Despite that they did improved as they had a better campaign than in 2015 when they finished 74-87.

At the end of 2016, the Tigers front office announced that all players were on sale, including their team superstar Miguel Cabrera. Nevertheless, the selling spree never happened and they decided to give this core of players one more chance. The Tigers decided to stick with players such as Miguel “Miggy” Cabrera, Víctor Martínez, Ian Kinsler, JD Martínez et al.

Offensively Detroit has one of the most fearsome teams in baseball. For most of the pundits in baseball Cabrera is arguablythe best hitter in the majors. Furthermore, the Tigers hope that Justin Upton will repeat last year’s performance when he hit 31 homers.

V-Mart is a fundamental part of the Tigers as he follows Cabrera in the batting order along with JD Martinez. They both provide the Tigers with a good dose of power and still be a force to be reckoned with in the American League.

Ian Kinsler,who scored the most runs in 2016 for the Tigers (117), will also be a factor thanks to his batting prowess (28 homers, 178 hits, 83 RBIs) and speed (14 stolen bases). Brad Ausmus hopes he can repeat, or even improve those numbers even though he will turn 35 on June 22.

Last year in the American League, Detroit was the second-best hitting team with a team batting average of .267 and the third best in slugging percentage with .438.

The pitching corps was the most urgentneed that the Tigers had. Justin Verlander had a great season as he rebounded from a terrible 2015 with a performance that saw him finish second in the voting race for the Cy Young award in the American League.

The righty will once again be the ace of rotation, followed by Jordan Zimmerman and current Rookie of the Year Michael Fulmer, who will have a lot to prove this season as the third arm of the rotation.

Anibal Sanchez is another pitcher who has made interesting changes in his mechanics. After struggling in 2016 and a good portion of spring training, the Venezuelan was relegated to the bullpen this season and will be replaced by Matt Boyd as the fifth pitcher in the rotation.

The bullpen is also a concern as is has a shortage of aces, with the exception perhaps of Venezuelan closer Francisco Rodriguez, who is the saves leaders among active pitchers with 430.

Left-handed Justin Wilson, right-handers Shane Greene and Bruce Rondon will be the other men in the bullpen who will be in charge of holding leads and providing Rodriguez with save opportunities.

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