Detroit Tigers Links: Still contenders, Anibal Sanchez, Josh Zeid


Much of the offseason has been spent pontificating on whether the Detroit Tigers have what it takes to continue to be a strong World Series contender.

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While most of the competition in the AL Central arguable got better, it is hard to gauge whether the Tigers are better, particularly when they lost the biggest free agent on the market this year in Max Scherzer (if that was planned all along or otherwise). Baseball is a funny sport and one of the few that can legitimately see any team win it all. This has bitten the Tigers in the past as seemingly inferior teams have won it over Detroit, but perhaps being under the radar might be beneficial. Jamie Samulesen thinks they still have World Series fuel in the tank.

With Max gone it is more important than ever that Anibal Sanchez stays healthy. When on the field last year, Sanchez may have been the most consistent starter, however the problem was he didn’t stay healthy, spending two lengthy stints on the DL. Here’s to a healthy Anibal in 2015!

Finally, we take a look at yet another Houston Astros’ castoff, profiled in his hometown newspaper. Tigers’ fans can only hope that Josh Zeid has the similar surprise season that his former teammate J.D. Martinez had last year in Detroit.

Tigers not quite done contending for World Series – Jamie Samuelsen, Detroit Free Press

"Offensively, there is a lot to like. Miguel Cabrera should be healthy. Victor Martinez is coming off his best season. J.D. Martinez and Nick Castellanos are players on the rise. Yoenis Cespedes should provide a long ball threat in the middle of the order that was lacking last season when Prince Fielder was traded.The Tigers don’t have the best pitching staff in baseball. They don’t have the best lineup. When key players depart via trade or free agency, there is a collective malaise towards what’s left over. That’s understandable. But let’s not forget that when healthy, the Tigers can put up runs with the best of them and can pitch with the best of them. This is not the 1984 Tigers or the 1998 Yankees. But look around baseball and show me which team has that loaded roster or loaded rotation against which the Tigers can’t hope to compete."

Detroit Tigers Need To Get A Full Season Out Of Anibal Sanchez In 2015 – Brad Faber, Rant Sports

"Overall, Sanchez has gone 26-19 with a 3.08 ERA, 2.75 FIP and a 1.16 WHIP during his time as a Tiger. Unfortunately, he just hasn’t been the most durable member of the staff, and that will need to change in 2015.Although Sanchez did have injury issues earlier on in his career with the Florida Marlins as well, he threw at least 195.0 innings each year between 2010-12. It would be great if he could stay healthy for the Tigers and give them 30-plus starts and 190-plus innings while resembling his 2013 Cy Young-worthy form."

New Haven’s Josh Zeid looking to lock down role with Detroit Tigers – David Borges, New Haven Register

"Zeid, 27, has been told by Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski and assistant GM Al Avila that he’s essentially one of four or five guys competing for possibly two or three open spots.“That’s all I’m looking for, a new opportunity with a new ballclub — especially one with a lot of potential,” Zeid said. “It’s a really good situation there. They have a few openings, and I’m just hoping for a shot, whether that comes in April or June.”Zeid made his big-league debut with the Astros in 2013 and pitched well, finishing with a 3.90 ERA in 25 relief outings. Last year, while bouncing back and forth between Triple-A Oklahoma City and Houston, Zeid struggled mightily — a 6.97 ERA in 23 outings with the Astros.But then, as Zeid pointed out: “Pitching on two broken feet, it wasn’t the easiest.”Indeed, Zeid had been diagnosed in 2013 with bilateral sesamoiditis — essentially, broken bones on the balls of both feet, underneath his big toes. It had been bothering him for two years, and though he’d have MRIs and injections and even tailored his training regimen so that he was never on his feet during workouts, it finally caught up to him this past summer.Zeid had surgery on his right foot on Aug. 6, then his left foot on Oct. 6."

Next: Keys to Success for the 2015 Tigers