We’re around halfway through the offseason… and I’m wishing for a faster winter. It’s not going to happen, but I can hope with Christmas here, I can run off a few other wishes I have for the 2012 Detroit Tigers.
It’s a simple list:
Okay, not exactly a ground-breaking list, but as the Tigers have been very quiet this offseason thus far, I’m curious as to what these 3 simple things will bring next season.
2012 will offer an AL Central division that will likely be the Tigers to lose. Right now, as for the first thing on the list, the team boasts a reasonable rotation. My biggest problem with it is the lack of left-handed presence, but at the same time I’ll thank Dave Dombrowski for not throwing the farm at Oakland for the sake of having Gio Gonzalez on the roster. Sure, the Tigers won the division in large part to the right-handed rotation (and despite Brad Penny), but mixing it up a bit would be nice. As for the bullpen, the addition of Octavio Dotel was sadly the biggest thing to come out of the Winter Meetings for the Tigers, but may be good enough to solidify the 7th inning for the team. Dealing Ryan Perry for Collin Balester is a tad strange, but for change of scenery purposes, it looks like a decent deal. In the end, will it all hold up for a deeper postseason run, should the Tigers even get that far?
My Christmas wish for hitting is rather of hope more than anything. The hope is, is that the regression I anticipate might come from the likes of Alex Avila and/or Jhonny Peralta are short and sweet. Of course, I wish for them to produce offensively like they did last season, but something tells me that may not happen. Oh, and since the Tigers didn’t upgrade at the leadoff spot, I guess I can wish that Austin Jackson gets his act together and learns how to be an effective lead off hitter. You know, strike out about 100 times less, stuff like that. A well balanced offense will be ultra helpful… even if there is some regression amongst the players. Follow up wish: a healthy Brennan Boesch. He was having a reasonably solid season when he swung himself out of his own thumb.
Defense wins championships, or so I’m told. That’s the scary part, when you think of the Detroit Tigers outfield. With the winter progressing we’ve heard very little Delmon Young talk; certainly no talk of him not returning next season. That said, I wish that he and the rest of the outfield could play me some defense. DY, along with the moderately questionable defense of Boesch, and the here-and-there defense from Jackson, the outfield may be an adventure next season (and I haven’t even brought up Ryan Raburn). We’ve seen Delmon’s act out there: every ball hit his way is a hold-your-breath adventure at times. Austin’s been accused of not taking enough chances, letting some balls drop in, in the sake of not leaving his feet to get that much needed out. I wish that, with the spacious outfield, the defense could be better. Giving up outs and allowing your pitchers to throw more than they have to will probably cost ANY team wins over the course of any season.
I’m not going to wish for a 162-0 season, even though I wish for this team to be markedly better in many areas, and right now. While I wish for things that may not come, I’ll also wish for myself even more patience with certain players on our beloved roster, and further wish that the Tigers can continue to upgrade and fill the holes that need to be filled before that first game in April that counts.
In the meantime, I’ll wish for mid-February to get here quick. I’ll also wish upon all of you a Merry Christmas and a wonderful 2012.
Follow me on Twitter at @DisplacedTgrFan.