Detroit Tigers 2011 Preview

2010 Record: 81-81

2011 Projected Roster

  • Catchers: Victor Martinez, Alex Avila
  • Infielders: Miguel Cabrera, Carlos Guillen, Will Rhymes, Jhonny Peralta, Brandon Inge, Ramon Santiago
  • Outfielders: Austin Jackson, Magglio Ordonez, Ryan Raburn, Brennan Boesch, Casper Wells
  • Starters: Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Rick Porcello, Phil Coke, Brad Penny
  • Bullpen: Jose Valverde, Joaquin Benoit, Joel Zumaya, Ryan Perry, Daniel Schlereth, Brad Thomas, Enrique Gonzalez

Notable Signings

  1. Victor Martinez: 4 years, $50MM
  2. Joaquin Benoit: 3 years, $16.5MM
  3. Brad Penny: 1 year, $3MM

Notable Losses

  1. Johnny Damon
  2. Armando Galarraga
  3. Gerald Laird
  4. Jeremy Bonderman

Top Prospects

  1. Jacob Turner: RHP
  2. Nick Castellanos: 3B
  3. Dan Fields: CF

Key Position Battles

  • 2nd Base: Will Rhymes vs. Scott Sizemore – With Carlos Guillen down with a knee injury and looking bound for a DL stint to start the year the two kids will be battling it out for the starting 2nd base job on opening day. Rhymes is a great contact hitter and had a good showing in just under 200 at bats last year with a .304 average(and a .289 career minor league hitter.) Sizemore was the opening day starter last year but he is not much of an offensive force so he may fall just short in this competition. Both will be bench bound once Carlos Guillen comes back. 2nd Base Pick: Will Rhymes

In an American League Central division that will be extremely competitive right down to the wire. The core of their lineup sporting the likes of Miguel Cabrera(the American League’s best all around hitter despite his off the field drinking issues,) Victor Martinez(who could produce at an even higher level as a DH) and Magglio Ordonez will be scary for any pitcher night in and night out. Austin Jackson is an interesting case in 2011. He could see a major regression since he will not be able to maintain his 2010 BAbip which was approaching .400 but at the same time he could mature and progress as a player and get even better if he cuts down on his strikeouts. Solid role players in Brandon Inge, Ryan Raburn and Jhonny Peralta give the Tigers a very well rounded offensive and defensive squad. The rotation is led by perrenial Cy Young candidate Justin Verlander and strikeout artist Max Scherzer. Scherzer saw his season turn around in 2010 after a short stint in the minors to work on his mechanics; he will look to carry that into 2011. Phil Coke may not be able to get the longevity the Tigers would like due to his transition from the bullpen and Brad Penny may go down with an injury at some point but Detroit has young lefty Andrew Oliver waiting in the wings if such a situation arises. Of course, I have to give a shout out to local Jersey boy Rick Porcello who hopes to rebound from a brutal sophomore season and get back to his 2009 ways. The bullpen as a whole is nothing to write home about but the Tigers should be able to lock down the back end of games with Joaquin Benoit and Jose Valverde. Who knows if Joel Zumaya can stay healthy(he is already heading for an opening day DL stint.) Plain and simple, I love this Tigers team, this division is going to be fun to watch this year.

WTP Projected 2011 Record: 86-76

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About jacarfagno

Live, Breathe, and Bleed Baseball
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