2009 AL Preview: Detroit Tigers

Team Name: Detroit Tigers

2008 W-L Record: 74-88

Place in division: 5th

2009 Projected Lineup

Player

Pos.

Gerald Laird

C

Miguel Cabrera

1B

Placido Polonco

2B

Adam Everett

SS

Brandon Inge

3B

Carlos Guillen

LF

Curtis Granderson

CF

Magglio Ordonez

RF

Gary Sheffield

DH

Key Bench Players

Player

Pos.

Ramon Santiago

IF

Marcus Thames

OF

Ryan Raburn

OF

2009 Projected Rotation

Player

Pos.

Justin Verlander

SP1

Armando Galarraga

SP2

Jeremy Bonderman

SP3

Edwin Jackson

SP4

Dontrelle Willis

SP5

Key Relievers

Player

Pos.

Brandon Lyon

Closer

Fernando Rodney

Setup

Joel Zumaya

Setup

Bobby Seay

Specialist

2009 Outlook Paragraph:

The Tigers, with a $100 million payroll, finished last(behind the Royals!), in 2008.  That's hard to do.  It certainly wasn't the fault of the offense, seeing as how they finished 4th in the league in runs scored.  They're going to score plenty of runs again, and they addressed their defense with the additions of Gerald Laird and Adam Everett(career UZR/150 of 16.6).  The Tigers pitching was the main problem in their terrible 2008 season.  The pitching staff had the 4th worst K/9(6.17), 3rd worst FIP(4.79) and 2nd worst BB/9(4.01).  Their major addition to the pitching staff was Edwin Jackson, who Rays fans know all too well.  Jackson probably isn't going to help the Tiger rotation improve those numbers I listed above, only his BB/9 was better than the Tiger starters last season.  Justin Verlander, the ace of the rotation, had a poor 2008 and almost certainly can't be that bad again in 2009.  His walks increased last season, and he has had a major dip in FB velocity since 2006 which is cause for alarm in a young pitcher.   His FIP was 4.18 which isn't terrible, but he isn't getting unlucky either with his BABiP around his career norm.  The 2009 outlook doesn't seem to bright for Detroit.  They'll score their 800-820 runs, but when you're rotation was terrible in 2008 and your major addition was Edwin Jackson...well that pretty much speaks for itself.

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