Detroit Tigers Links: Kinsler praised, offense concerns, Walking Dead arm & ex-Tigers thus far


Apr 9, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler (3) steals second base in the first inning of the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Refreshed Ian Kinsler praised by teammates, manager early in Detroit Tigers tenure – John Lowe, Detroit Free Press

"“I try to do everything within my power to win a game,” Kinsler said. “This team is full of guys like that. It’s definitely a refreshing place to be.”At 31, he is one of several Tigers older than 30 who yearn for their first World Series title. Others in that group include Joe Nathan, Victor Martinez, Torii Hunter and — did this ever happen fast — Justin Verlander, who is 31. At this early date, a sense arises that this collective hunger might be the X factor that makes the difference for the Tigers this season."

I don’t think we as fans expected anything less from Kinsler when he was announced as the return piece in the Prince Fielder deal. He is showing hustle, playing good defense, and is off to a decent start at the plate, which is pretty much all we could ask for at this point.

Detroit Tigers Offense has been Their Biggest Concern This Year – Rich Seroka, Detroit Jock City

"In Baseball you can have the greatest pitcher and defensive players to ever play the game and if they cannot hit you will not win anything, then you could have a lousy defensive team but can hit and win everything.  If they do not turn it around offensively it will be a long year in Detroit to be a Tigers fan."

Small ball doesn’t work very well when you can’t get anyone on base, as was often the case for the Tigers on their So Cal trip last week. Alas, it seems offense is down throughout baseball (as is often the case in the first month), and I expect it to come around for Detroit.

Tigers’ Dombrowski: Worries about Joe Nathan’s dead arm are ‘overblown’ – Tony Paul, Detroit News

"“Anybody that’s really played that up hasn’t been around the game at all,” Dombrowski said after a public appearance with WDIV’s Bernie Smilovitz at TAP bar and restaurant at MGM Grand Detroit. “I’ve heard every one of our pitchers at some point say they had a dead arm. He doesn’t have a hurt arm, doesn’t have a sore arm. Every one of our pitchers went through the same thing this spring.”That didn’t stop Tigers fans from freaking out, especially given the uncertain state of the bullpen and the fact Nathan is 39, and in the first year of a two-year, $20 million contract.“There’s no written explanation for it, other than the guy just goes through a time period where the ball doesn’t feel like it’s coming out (of the hand) as much,” Dombrowski said. “The velocity might be the same, then all of a sudden they feel good."

I’m not really sure that fans “really played that up” after Nathan told a SiriusXM host that he had dead arm last week. What fans began to be very concerned about was when Nathan went out the next day and promptly blew a three-run save–something that is hard for even lousy closers to do often. Nathan did look much better in his appearance against the San Diego Padres in a non-save situation on Saturday, however.

Catching up with last year’s Detroit Tigers castoffs – MCB special to the Free Press

"The Detroit Tigers had an interesting offseason as some fan favorites left town via free agency and a potential franchise cornerstone saw his brief stay in Detroit cut short.Fans are often quick to crow about “winning the trade,” making the right decision to let a guy walk or decrying the team’s made the wrong move.Though the first two weeks of the season are by no means an accurate gauge of how a player’s season will go, it is interesting to see how guys are adjusting to their new surroundings."

Pretty much every ex-Tiger is struggling in the first few weeks of the season (exceptions being Bryan Pena and Omar Infante) with Jhonny Peralta perhaps playing the worst, with an average hovering around .120.