Sep 15, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Detroit Tigers first basemanMiguel Cabrera
(24) celebrates with designated hitterVictor Martinez
(41) after hitting a home run in the ninth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. The Tigers won 8-6. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
If nothing else, 2015 promises to be an interesting year for the Detroit Tigers. Hey, it’s already been newsworthy and the names and their potential roles have been engrossing to say the least.
The Mighty Miguel Cabrera may not be in the opening day lineup. The clutch Victor Martinez most certainly won’t. These two proud Venezuelans form the cornerstone of the Tiger offense. The last time Victor went down, chaos reverberated in the front office and in the owner’s box. The ramifications of their possible absences bring fear and consternation to the hearts of many Tiger fans. The permutations of attempting to replace them, even for a short time, are fascinating.
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Alex Avila at 1st base (and batting 2nd), Steven Moya in right field, J.D. Martinez in the dugout, Jordan Lennerton being called up, Dioner Navarro rumors? The ripple effect seems to have no boundaries. I wonder if Adam Dunn has given our GM a call yet!
Beyond this major problem there are other, perhaps smaller but not unimportant, issues and concerns. Is Jose Iglesias even going to be able to play baseball? Many fans are still concerned about Anibal Sanchez and his health. The problems resulting from Avila’s history of concussions are not likely to go away either.
Injuries have taken their toll upon our regulars and present a very real obstacle for the team this year. They will need to be mitigated.
The season will be challenging enough just with performance issues alone. The Detroit outfield will look very different this year. For that matter, so will the infield with the return (hopefully) of Iglesias and the platooning of Avila with the rookie, James McCann.
The starting pitchers are simply not what they used to be and Brad Ausmus will have somewhat of an “X Factor” on his hands at the back end of his rotation. The bullpen is, at best, an enigma.
Dave Dombrowski rarely shows his cards and often surprises everyone with unexpected pre-season maneuvers. Yes, the Detroit Tigers are already having an interesting year.