Detroit Tigers Top 5 Spring Training Story Lines

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Aug 19, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera (24) and designated hitter Victor Martinez (41) look back against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Detroit Tigers defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 8-5. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

#1 Healthy Tigers

Miguel Cabrera is still a question mark for Opening Day. Despite the good news from yesterday, it is not an absolute certainty that Victor Martinez will be ready for Opening Day. Will Iglesias hold up all season? Will Bruce Rondon hold up all season? Will Hanrahan be able to go and be as effective as he once was? How about the durability of Anibal Sanchez? What other players that have been relatively healthy will miss time?

The Tigers were unlucky with injuries last year when Rondon, Iglesias and former outfielder Andy Dirks all went out for the season before the team left Florida. Then Sanchez, who may have been the team’s most consistent pitcher in 2014, couldn’t stay healthy.

One would think by the law of averages the pendulum would swing the other way and the Tigers would be largely healthy, but Cabrera and Martinez have shown early on that is not the case.

As I mentioned earlier, relief pitching is what killed the Tigers the last two season, but another factor that hampered their consistency in the regular season the last few years, particularly 2014 was their lack of depth.

Though Dave Dombrowski made it his goal in the offseason to add depth to the bench, it doesn’t look like that came to pass. Perhaps there will be a deal in Spring Training (similar to J.D. Martinez last year), but what these early injuries have shown is that the Tigers are in deep trouble if their stars are injured long term.

Imagine that lineup into the middle of April without Cabrera and V-Mart. It is not a pretty picture.

The Tigers will not have either of these players for most of, if not all of, Spring Training. We’ll see how they do without the big guns in their lineup.

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