Detroit Tigers: Who’s Panicking Now? Tigers looking like contenders again
By Matt St Jean
Not every game has been a win, but the Detroit Tigers are definitely starting to put it all together.
More from Motor City Bengals
- Detroit Tigers: Joe Jiménez has rebounded in 2022
- Detroit Tigers: Is it finally time to move the fences in at Comerica Park?
- Detroit Tigers: Riley Greene continues to impress with his performance
- Detroit Tigers: Outlook on Jace Jung is a little concerning
- The Detroit Tigers’ GM search reeks of incompetence
On Saturday, the Detroit Tigers got their former Ace back, as Justin Verlander looked strong through his five innings of work in his season debut against the Cleveland Indians. It wasnt quite the 2011 Cy Young and MVP winning JV, yet was still a huge sigh of relief when his fastball touched the mid 90’s and his curveball dropped sharply away from hitters.
If I were to have told you before the season began, that the Tigers most consistent starting pitcher in 2015 would be newly acquired right hander Alfredo Simon, you would of pointed in my face and laughed. However believe it or not, after taking notching the win on Sunday, The Big Pasta is now rated in the top ten in both ERA (2.58) and wins (7) in the American League so far this season. He’s definitely All Star worthy if it werent for the leagues joke of a voting system. On that note while we’re here, go to mlb.com and #votemiggy.
The obvious trend here is it appears the Tigers are back on track. Only two weeks ago, Tigers fans were freaking out about Anibal Sanchez. Now after two solid starts, those doubters have been silenced. Monday nights complete game shutout against the Cincinatti Reds was further proof Sanchez just need a little extra time to warm up this season.
Also taking his time to get going, JD Martinez is back with the power numbers everyone expected him to put up this season. For the second day in a row, Martinez hit an absolute monster home run to one of the deeper parts of Comerica Park. He’s getting on base more consistently as well.
His partner-in-crime so to speak, Victor Martinez, began his rehab stint with AAA Toledo on Sunday. He had an RBI single in four quality at bats, and did not show any signs of pain in his injured knee. Monday night in Syracuse, Victor added two more hits in four at bats with another RBI. It sounds like he will be back much sooner than some thought after watching limp off the field trying to run out a ground ball on May 19th. It also sounds like he will be returning with a bit more power in his bat.
One of the questions still clouding peoples minds is what to do with Shane Greene. Some people think the send down to AAA will have the the “Max Scherzer Effect”: The one-in-a-million chance that Greene goes down to Toledo, actually figures things out, and then works his way into an almost $300 million dollar contract. That would be awesome, but highly unlikely.
Luckily General Manager Dave Dombrowski always has a trick up his sleeve. According to Jon Morosi of FOX Sports, The Tigers had a scout at Cincinatti Reds Ace Johnny Cueto’s start against the Chicago Cubs on Friday, and the Reds had one of their scouts in Erie looking at someone on the Tigers AA team. Clearly something is in the works, as the Reds are already a dozen games out of first place in the NL Central and will be sellers at the trade deadline. Cueto will be a free agent after this season.
If the Tigers were to land Cueto, with Martinez and Verlander coming back healthy, this team has the potential to be very scary. The bullpen has faltered as of late, but they have plenty of time to get it together, and even with how poorly the Tigers were playing a couple weeks ago, they are right in the hunt. The Minnesota Twins have come back down to earth, dropping five in a row before winning on Sunday, and the Kansas City Royals are only three games ahead. Look for the Tigers and Royals to battle for the division crown all summer long.