Too Early to Tell With the Tigers

Too Early to Tell With the Tigers

Zane D'Souza

As of April 28 the Detroit Tigers had the best record in the American League at 14 wins and 6 losses. They started out the season at 9-1, but have gone 5-5 since then. Though this record looks impressive right, the recent stretch that included three out of four losses to the Yankees shows that they have holes that need to be filled.

The series against New York showed how the combination of the hitting not producing, along with poor pitching, can once again plague the Tigers. This is the issue they had last year. Too many games were lost because the bats could not produce, and the pitching did not hold up. The lineup they are bringing out every game is capable of putting up big numbers, and has done so for the most part. However, if Miguel Cabrera, Yoenis Cespedes, J.D. Martinez, and Victor Martinez do not set the team up, the rest of the order will not do enough to put runs on the board. For the majority of the 20 games the Tigers have played, these five have done their part, as well as the rest of the order, have done their part to help this team win. However, the series against the Yankees, which will get referenced a lot this early because of how poor the team played, showed what happens if the hitting is not there. Combine this with poor pitching and the Tigers could have serious issues come October.

Losing a pitcher like Max Scherzer seems like a big loss for a team already poised to be lacking in pitching. Scherzer has had a good start to the year with a 1.26 ERA and a 1-2 record. However, he will lose the CY Young ability he had in Detroit, as his contract lasts seven years. But, the team has had a surprise replacement with the new addition of Shane Greene. Greene came from the Yankees after a small showing of 15 games. Not much was expected of him, but he started the season going 21 innings without giving up an earned run. This is exactly what the team needs, as the bullpen has hurt the team. The one bright light for the bullpen, however, has been Joakim Soria. He has pitched beautifully in the closer role, and has literally saved the team on many occasions. Soria already has eight saves, and should continue in this role. If the rest of the bullpen can come close to his level, the team will be in a much better position.

Though it is early on the long grind that is the Major League baseball season, the Tigers have showed flashes of potentially being a World Series contender. Besides the Kansas City Royals, it seems like they could get to the Fall Classic unscathed. The problem will come once they face the top teams in the National League. This may be far away, but manager Brad Ausmus needs to find a way to get the issues that plague this team solved, or the city of Detroit could go another year starving for a championship team.