I’ve been racking my brain recently, thinking of something that’s maybe a little bit different from my normal article type. I came up with this: bold predictions regarding the 2nd half of the Tigers season. They’re somewhat wide-ranging, from team success to individual player success to potential acquisitions. Hope you guys enjoy!
1) The Detroit Tigers Will Win the American League Central Division
So, maybe this isn’t all that bold considering we’re only 3.5 games out of 1st place, but when I think about all the doom and gloom pessimism surrounding this team, mostly via the twittersphere, some people might find this prediction downright outlandish. No, I don’t think the Tigers are the best team in baseball or the AL like I let myself believe pre-season, but I have zero doubts that this team is the best of an atrocious AL Central.
2) Nick Castellanos, Bruce Rondon, and Rob Brantly Will All Make Their Tiger Debuts
Be it by way of necessity due to injury or September callup, I am predicting that we will see all 3 of them at some point before the end of the 2012 season. No, this is not a “THE TIGERS ARE CALLING UP CASTELLANOS TO PLAY 2B” prediction, so don’t even try to spin this that way. I don’t think that any of them will be called up to fill in as everyday starters, either. Simply put, we will see all of them wearing the Old English D at one point this season, even if it’s for only a couple at-bats or a few innings.
3) Dave Dombrowski Will Make a Blockbuster Trade of Some Sort
No, this isn’t Dombrowski’s style at all. He prefers to make big moves in the offseason, while making supplemental moves during the season, a la Fister, Betemit, Washburn, Huff, etc. But not this season. This team has underperformed so egregiously that I can’t see DD sitting on his hands or simply adding a complementary piece at the trading deadline. No, I think he’s going to make a big move, a la Justin Upton (I’m simply using Upton as a example of the type of player that will be involved, not him specifically). The trade will cost signifcant portions of our farm system, along with some major league talent as well. The trade will be immensely polarizing among fans, with some loving it and some calling for Dombrowski’s head.
4) Quintin Berry Will Not Be An Everyday Starter By September
Maybe this really isn’t all that bold either. Maybe it is, depending on your opinion. Before I go on, I strongly recommend you give Nick Galea a follow on twitter (@ChampaignCaviar). He did a fantastic breakdown of QB on twitter a couple days ago, and his conclusions may surprise you. Now, this is not me hating on Berry, so stop it, Berryphiles. I think he is a wonderful piece to have on a team, but I believe that between the eventual return of Andy Dirks and potential acquisitions, Berry’s role on the team will become defensive replacement/pinch runner/occasional starter.
5) Brennan Boesch Will Have An Offensive Resurgence
This is probably the boldest of all my predictions. I suppose I am in the vast, VAST minority at this point in that I have not given up on Boesch. You all know enough about me by now to understand that I am a fundamentals guy, meaning that I much prefer to watch a player’s swing to judge how he is doing rather than look at stats. I know Boesch has been horrible. You don’t need to tell me that, but I believe that his swing is too fundamentally sound to continue being horrible. His approach has been the issue, and I have always been of the belief that an approach is easier to fix that completely retooling a swing. I could very, VERY easily be wrong here, and will have zero problem eating crow if I am, but I have not given up on Boesch yet
6) Ryan Raburn Will Be the Starting 2nd Baseman, Daily, By August
Yup, this one bothers me too. But I believe that he will find his stride offensively, so much so that Leyland will not have a choice but to play him everyday. Combine that with Dirks returning and my belief in a Corner OF acquisition, that leaves only 2B open for Raburn. He’s going to be bad there, make no mistake about it, but hopefully the bat will make up for the glove.
7) Justin Verlander Will Win His 2nd Consecutive Cy Young
This one really needs no explanation. JV will continue to be JV, a cyborg sent straight from outer space with a rubber arm that can throw infinite pitches at ridiculous speeds at any time, pinpoint command, filthy breaking stuff, and the poise of Abraham Lincoln (sans vampires). He won’t win 24 games, but since when do pitcher wins matter anyways?
And that’s what I have for you. Sure, these predictions may make me seem like the eternally optimistic slappy, but it wouldn’t exactly be “bold” for me to say that Boesch and Young will continue to struggle, and Porcello/Scherzer will be inconsistent would it?
As always, feel free to comment on here with your thoughts or contact me on twitter @B_Sakowski.