AL Central presents more danger for Detroit Tigers in 2014 – Pat Caputo, Macomb Daily
The Indians and the emerging Royals are the concerns, the Indians because they seem to have found a way to win with Terry Francona as manager, and the Royals because they feature developing young stars and what was arguably the best bullpen in the American League in ’13.
While they have had enough to win the AL Central the last three years, the Tigers came up short in the postseason. The Tigers were unbalanced. The Tigers have improved their balance in regard to overall team speed and range defensively, but at the cost of power.
It’s the tricky part of the equation. Not being satisfied with being eventually knocked out of the postseason each year is the proper tactic. Yet, it can also backfire if the Tigers have changed to the point where they don’t win the division.
That’s the Catch-22. Perhaps the Tigers have improved their team to succeed deeper in the postseason when pitching, defense, and speed supersede power, but will a team that scores fewer runs be able to withstand a hard-hitting Cleveland Indians team or Kansas City, which can get runs across via small ball?
Crosby was shut down for several days in late February after experiencing discomfort in his throwing elbow. He underwent an MRI exam last week, which revealed inflammation in his tricep tendon.
Crosby, who had bone chips surgically removed from his elbow in late August, said he initially felt soreness after a bullpen session before the start of Grapefruit League play. He was then instructed by team trainers to halt baseball-related activities following his first live bullpen session a few days later.
Crosby is definitely in the equation to make the big league bullpen, but missing time in Spring Training is not going to help his cause.
Although the Fielder-for-Kinsler trade was widely applauded by Tigers fans, it has left some wondering if Cabrera will be as well protected in 2014. But there is absolutely no need to worry. Martinez will do a fine job protecting Cabrera, and he can be expected to hit .300 and be among league leaders in doubles with well over 100 RBIs.
Many Tigers fans were happy to see Fielder the person go, but not happy to see the 100 RBIs go with him, even if last season was likely the worst in the slugger’s career. There’s no reason to think that V-Mart can’t pick up where Fielder left off. While he won’t hit nearly as many homers as Prince, Victor puts the ball into play more and has hit very well in Comerica Park during his career (including Cleveland and Boston). The same could not be said for Prince.
Tags: Detroit Tigers