One of the biggest question marks heading into the 2015 season for the Detroit Tigers is the health of their young starting shortstop.
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Last month they traded another young shortstop in Eugenio Suarez which means they must be very confident that Jose Iglesias will not feel any lingering effects of the shin issues that required surgery last March, requiring him to miss the entire 2014 season.
By all reports the Tigers say he is progressing exactly on the projected timetable that will have him ready for Spring Training in about five weeks.
Next up we take a look at Drew VerHagen who experienced the most bitter cup of coffee in the majors. After making his first big league start, he suffered a back injury that cost him the final two months of the season.
Last we take a look at one of the new Tigers’ starters Shane Greene. When the Tigers picked him up last month, most fans were excited about his potential after a solid rookie season of starting for the New York Yankees. However, should he regress, the team could be in a lot of trouble. Not only do they need Greene to have the same success as 2014, they need him to be better.
Tigers: Iglesias on target for return to full health – Lynn Henning, Detroit News
"“At this point, he’s progressed exactly as we’d anticipated,” Kevin Rand, the Tigers’ head athletic trainer, said during a phone conversation from his home in Lakeland, Fla. “Basically, it’s a matter of getting him to spring training. And then, in spring training, breaking him in easily to find out if he’ll be able to handle the everyday stress of playing.“But nobody knows that (for certain) until you get to that point.”A bit more reassurance could arrive next week when Iglesias, who missed all of the 2014 season with stress fractures in his legs, has a follow-up examination by his orthopedic specialist, Thomas Clanton, at the Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colo.Iglesias, who earlier this week turned 25, has been working out steadily at his Miami home and with the oversight of local trainers and rehab specialists, supervised by Rand and by the Tigers’ new strength and conditioning coordinator, Chris Walters."
Tigers’ Drew VerHagen hopes to be back in majors soon – Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press
"“I think it was very beneficial,” VerHagen said last week. “It gave me a taste of the goal that I’ve had since I was a young kid.“So that little taste fueled me through the off-season and makes me want to get back there that much more.”This off-season, the righty said, is all about resting that back to put him in a position to stay healthy the entire year.“There’s not much you can do about it other than rest it,” Ver-Hagen said. “But it feels really good right now.”He said he feels 100% and is in the middle of a normal off-season throwing program.VerHagen is coming off a solid 2014 season at Triple-A Toledo. He posted a 3.67 ERA in 19 starts with the Mud Hens. He didn’t post big strikeout numbers — never has — but controls the ball and impressed enough last spring and summer to earn a July 19 start with the Tigers."
Detroit Tigers Need A Break Out Year From Shane Greene -Brad Faber, Rant Sports
"If Greene can continue to induce ground balls at an equally impressive rate for Detroit, that should only bode well for him as the Tigers are expected to have a strong infield in 2015. After all, Ian Kinsler and Miguel Cabrera were each Gold Glove finalists at their respective positions in 2014, and the Tigers will hopefully be welcoming the return of their acrobatic shortstop in Jose Iglesias as well. If everything goes according to plan, the only real question mark in the infield heading into 2015 will be third baseman Nick Castellanos, who received poor defensive marks in his rookie season at the hot corner.Assuming that a reunion between Max Scherzer and the Tigers is still unlikely to occur, there are quite a few question marks pertaining to the Tigers’ rotation, however. Obviously, David Price can be expected to be his usual, dominant self, but it remains to be seen if Justin Verlander can bounce back and whether or not Anibal Sanchez can stay healthy for an entire season. Plus, Alfredo Simon‘s second-half swoon with the Cincinnati Reds last season may raise a few red flags as well."