Detroit Tigers Opening Day: Urgency to win, bench, predictions


Happy Detroit Tigers Opening Day 2015!

More from Motor City Bengals

It has been a long cold winter–not only weather-wise but with YOUR Detroit Tigers. There have been injury scares, free agent losses and more negativity than usual following around this team.

Just like it was when the Tigers were heavy favorites in the division each year and just like it was when you knew the season would be over by Memorial Day in the 100-loss years, Opening Day is when hope truly springs eternal.

This team has the ability to win it all if everything goes well for them, but it could also easily fall apart. Now is time to find out.

In today’s edition of the Morning Links we look at how Dave Dombrowski still feels that urgency to win and to win now.

Next we look at how DD pledged to fix the bench in the offseason but some think he failed.

Finally the Freep predicts the Tigers’ upcoming season and just like with Motor City Bengals’ own predictions from yesterday, it is not always pretty for our heroes in the Old English D. Prove us wrong fellas, prove us wrong.

Tigers 2015: Dombrowski still has urgency to win – Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press

"The superstars who remain have seen their best days. The pitching surplus has been traded away. But the urgency to win a World Series title, Dombrowski insists, remains the same.“It’s always the same,” he says. “You’re always driven to try and win a World Series. And if you win one, you try to win the next one, so I can’t say that the drive has changed any different, because it’s always maximum and it’s always there.”Since reaching the World Series in 2006, he says, “We’ve been focused on that as an organization. I don’t think the urgency changes. Every year, we act in a way in which we try to accomplish that, so I don’t think that has changed a great deal.”But the winds of change are swirling. In Lakeland, Justin Verlander hit the disabled list for the first time in his career. Around the division, the Indians, White Sox and Royals each think they’re the team to beat. And in Detroit, the Tigers will trot out a team Monday afternoon that looks a lot different than a year ago."

Detroit Tigers season preview: Left unaddressed, bench remains one of the weakest in AL Central – James Schmehl, MLive

"It’s certainly not a deep bench, or an offensively-gifted bench. But a deep bench might not be needed with the type of regulars Detroit has in its everyday lineup.Rather than stack his bench with fence-clearing bats that wouldn’t get much playing time, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus constructed a bench filled a versatility that should offer him plenty of options at his disposal late in games.Romine can be used as a late-inning defensive replacement. Davis can pinch-run for Nick Castellanos or Victor Martinez late in games. And James McCann can pinch-hit for Alex Avila if a lefty reliever is called on in the eighth or ninth inning.But it’s clear the Tigers are missing power off the bench. Tyler Collins could provide much-needed pop from the left side of the plate, but Ausmus has elected to build a bench with two super utility players in Romine and Perez instead."

Tigers predictions: Division, World Series title unlikely – Free Press

"Mitch AlbomWhere will the Tigers finish in the AL Central? SecondI am worried about the injuries, plain and simple. The news to start the season isn’t good. Justin Verlander may become a permanent health question, and I really can’t see the bullpen being any better than last year, seeing as the general plan is “they’ll spring back to form.” I hope they do. But there’s no guarantee. Eager to see Yoenis Cespedes, but even more eager to see a healthy Victor Martinez. Too many question marks. Wild card at best.Anthony FenechCan the Tigers win the World Series? NoNot with a bullpen that, in its current form, hasn’t improved enough from last year, when it was their Achilles’ heel on a nightly basis. This is a team with enough talent to tread water over the long haul, but one that isn’t built to win a short series because of the bullpen."

Next: MLB/Detroit Tigers Opening Day Roundtable