Detroit Tigers: A look back at our preseason predictions

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 02: Victor Reyes #22 and Dawel Lugo #18 of the Detroit Tigers celebrate after both scored in the fourth inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on September 2, 2018 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 02: Victor Reyes #22 and Dawel Lugo #18 of the Detroit Tigers celebrate after both scored in the fourth inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on September 2, 2018 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

Back in March, the Motor City Bengals staff made some preseason predictions about our 2018 Detroit Tigers. Here are the (not so pretty) results.

The Detroit Tigers had themselves a rough 2018 season. Our staff was ready for that from the get-go, making some preseason predictions that painted a rough picture – with a few high moments at least. For the most part, we did okay.

Here is a look at the preseason predictions that five staff members made, and how they turned out.

Andy Patton’s Predictions

Victor Martinez hits 20 or more home runs

I had hoped V-Mart could regain some of the launch angle that helped him launch 27 home runs back in 2016. Alas, Martinez limped to the finish line in 2018, hitting just nine home runs. (0/1)

Nicholas Castellanos makes his first All-Star game

Joe Jimenez ended up representing Detroit in the All-Star Game, although that was not because of poor performance from Castellanos. Nick had a career-year, hitting .298 with 23 home runs and 98 RBI. However, a ton of talented outfielders in the AL pushed Castellanos out. (0/2)

Christin Stewart outperforms Mikie Mahtook

Technically, Stewart had a -0.1 fWAR in his 17 games while Mahtook had a -0.2 fWAR in 67 games. Stewart didn’t get as much playing time this season as I had hoped preseason, but he was clearly better than Mahtook and should be Detroit’s starting left fielder in 2019. I’m taking this one.

Final tally: 1/3 (33%)

Adam MacIntosh’s Predictions

Mike Fiers is Detroit’s No. 3 starter

Technically, thanks to a rain out, Ryan Carpenter was Detroit’s third starter of the season. But I’ll give this one to Adam as Fiers settled in as a nice anchor to Detroit’s rotation, before he was dealt to Oakland for a pair of pitching prospects. (1/1)

Matthew Boyd is Detroit’s No. 5 starter

Again, Boyd was much more than Detroit’s No. 5 starter this season, but Adam’s argument was that he will make the rotation over Daniel Norris. That happened, and then some. (2/2).

Tigers will trade Francisco Liriano

We all expected a Liriano trade, but unfortunately the Tigers were unable to deal the veteran left-hander before the deadline was up. He will hit the open market after posting a 4.58 ERA and a 7.41 K/9 in his lone season in the Motor City. (2/3)

Leonys Martin will become a fan favorite

Again I’ll give this one to Adam, as Martin had a nice bounce back season when he was healthy for Detroit. He was dealt to Cleveland for prized prospect Willi Castro at the trade deadline, a nice haul for a player that didn’t likely have a future with the Tigers.

Final tally: 3/4 (75%)

Jim Kramer’s Predictions

Tigers finish fourth, beat out White Sox

I’ll award a half point, as the Detroit Tigers did beat out the White Sox but they actually finished third in an incredibly weak AL central division. (0.5/1)

Buck Farmer becomes top-notch reliever

Farmer was one of Detroit’s better relievers last season, although his 4.15 ERA and 5.32 BB/9 are hardly what one would call top-notch. I’ll give another half point. (1/2)

Jeimer Candelario solidifies his role at third base

Candelario started 139 games at third base last season, missing a few weeks with an injury. There aren’t half points here – Candelario was as solid of a rock at third base as they come. He will have that role once again in 2019.

Final tally: 2/3 (66%)

Austin Green‘s Predictions

Miguel Cabrera Starts at 1B in the All-Star Game

Miggy was hitting well enough to merit ASG consideration, but thanks to health issues he only managed to play in 38 games last season. Hopefully a permanent spot at DH will keep him healthy in 2019. (0/1)

Victor Reyes starts in CF after Leonys Martin is traded

Reyes did start 18 games in center field after Martin was traded, although JaCoby Jones was the primary option – as he will be again next year. I expect Reyes to spend most of 2019 in the minor leagues. I’ll give a half point. (0.5/2)

Leonys Martin, Jose Iglesias and Francisco Liriano all get traded

1/3 here, although I would have banked on all three of these guys getting traded as well. Iggy and Liriano will hit the open market, and Martin will likely re-up with the Indians after getting traded at midseason. (1.5/5)

Mike Fiers underperforms and is released

Fiers was Detroit’s most successful starting pitcher, and was traded to Oakland for a pair of pitching prospects.

Final tally: 1.5/6 (25%)

Rob Low’s Predictions

Jose Iglesias will be traded

Another common theme that didn’t come true. Iggy might even be re-signed at this point, as the other SS options were pretty underwhelming for Detroit. (0/1)

Dawel Lugo is the starting second baseman by August

Lugo didn’t make his big league debut until August 30, but he was the regular starting second baseman throughout September. He hit just .213/.267/.309 though, and will have to fight for a regular role next season. Half point. (0.5/2)

The Detroit Tigers will win 70 Games

The Detroit Tigers finished 64-98 last season, although that was sadly good enough for third in the AL Central.

Final tally: 0.5/3 (16%)

Next. 5 offseason tasks for GM Al Avila. dark

Looks like Adam and Jim were our two big winners from the preseason predictions! Perhaps I and the rest of the staff will do better come 2019.