Detroit Tigers: Present and future for Anthony Gose, Justin Verlander and Joe Nathan

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When the Detroit Tigers made the trade for Anthony Gose this offseason, some fans were unimpressed.

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While he certainly brought speed to the team, would he get on base often to show off that speed? His previous seasons said no, especially last year with an OPS of .604.

Still Gose was young and the Tigers were good at finding diamonds in the rough and seeing them blossom such as J.D. Martinez and last year’s Toronto Blue Jays reclamation project, Rajai Davis, each of whom played above and beyond expectations.

Our first link looks at how Gose could be the biggest Detroit Tigers’ surprise in the early going.

Justin Verlander is poised to throw a bullpen session Wednesday in Pittsburgh and the Tigers hope he’ll be able to come back ASAP. While he struggled last year and was up and down in Spring Training, they saw how Kyle Lobstein struggled in Cleveland and need Justin back quickly. Brad Faber agrees.

Finally, MLive beat writer James Schmehl took reader’s questions and answered one poised to him by Motor City Bengals about Joe Nathan‘s imminent closing return–or is it?

Among Tigers surprises, Gose takes the cake – Jamie Samuelsen, Detroit Free Press

"It’s only been a week, but he’s been an unreal all-around player through Sunday’s game. Gose was hitting .450. He’s been active on the bases with a steal and six runs scored and even showed a little bit of pop hitting a home run and slugging 800. Baseball is littered with players who got off to hot starts in April and were down in the minors by July. Gose is not this good at the plate nor is he expected to be.But if (there’s that word again “if”) Gose can even be two-thirds of the player that he has been at the plate as the season unfolds, the Tigers offense will be even better than we hoped when the season started.When you look at the lineup and 2 through 6, the Tigers are as good or better than any team in the game. It’s the leadoff spot and the bottom of the order that’s going to be the question. In Monday’s 5-4 loss to the Pirates for example, Nick Castellanos grounded into two fatal double plays in the seventh and the ninth innings, swinging at the first pitch he saw in both at-bats. The heart of the order did their damage. It was the bottom of the order that came up lame. That’s what cost the Tigers in their first loss of the year. That’s what will cost the Tigers some games as the season goes along."

Detroit Tigers’ Starting Rotation Still Has Plenty Of Question Marks Without A Healthy Justin Verlander – Brad Faber, Rant Sports

"Yes, he is coming off of a down year, but Detroit doesn’t need Verlander to be as unstoppable as he was in 2011, when he won he AL Cy Young award as well as the MVP. Simply pitching like he did as recently as 2013, when he went 13-12 with a 3.46 ERA (3.28 FIP) and a 1.31 WHIP in a 4.8 fWAR campaign, could go a long way in helping the Tigers’ chances of winning their fifth consecutive AL Central crown."

Ask Schmehl: On Joe Nathan, Bruce Rondon and possible trade targets for Detroit Tigers – James Schmehl, MLive

"The Tigers are saying yes, Nathan will reclaim his role as closer when he’s ready to return. But I’m not buying it. It’s easier for a team to find a successful eighth-inning setup man than it is for a team to find a successful closer. If Soria excels during his time as interim closer, the Tigers would be foolish to tinker with him.The problem, of course, is figuring out what to do with Nathan when he’s finally ready to return. Ausmus, who is recognized as a players’ manager, would need to figure out a way to keep Nathan both happy and serviceable if he’s no longer needed in the ninth inning. Which could prove to be a difficult challenge."

Next: Detroit Tigers 5 defensive questions

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