The most important questions that the Tigers face going into Spring Training, 2013, are as follows:
1) Who will be the number five starter;
2) Who will be the left fielder;
3) Who will be the back up catcher;
4) Who will be the closer;
and 5) who will hold down the DP combo?
1) Rick Porcello might not make it out of Spring Training as a Tiger. He is a very sought after
pitcher in a possible trade. Dave Dombrowski is in a holding pattern right now just waiting
for the right deal. Meanwhile we see DREW SMYLY opening the season as the Tigers fifth starter.
2) There are four legitimate outfielders who ANDY DIRKS must beat out in left. They are: AVISAIL
GARCIA, BRENNAN BOESCH, QUINTON BERRY and NICK COSTELLANOS. Because he is a right handed hitter
Leyland will use GARCIA as a replacement for DIRKS in a R/L tandem. BOESCH and BERRY hitting
lefty will hurt their chances. However, 20 year old NICK CASTELLANOS is another story. The
Tigers are in no hurry to move the kid into Comerica Park, only to have him sit. We feel that
he should continue to gain valuable experience down in Toledo.
3) We see ALEX AVILA having a reborn 2011 season. With the pressure off as hitters 1-6 take care
of producing runs plus a successful surgery AVILA will be chomping at the bit coming out of
Florida with the switch hitting BRAYAN PENA serving as his back up.
4) The closer isn’t as big a question mark as most people think. BRUCE RONDON with his youth and
blinding fast ball will get a looooong look, after which the Tigers have Benoit, Albaqueque,
and Dotel to choose from…just in case.
5) Barring some unforseen misfortune the Tigers are set at the important defensive up-the-middle
second base combo of OMAR INFANTE and JHONNY PERALTA. INFANTE will dazzle many fans with his
solid defensive skills. We have always felt his quietness and humble approach to playing the
game has kept him in the back ground. Actually, the same can be said for PERALTA. So I guess
we can call these two OUR QUIET KEYSTONERS!
Conclusion…The important sixth(DIRKS), seventh(PERALTA), eighth(AVILA) and ninth(INFANTA) will all
get some needed offensive pressure removed by the BIG FIVE of JACKSON, HUNTER, CABRERA, FIELDER
and MARTINEZ. Sounds good to us….LET THE SEASON BEGIN!!
posted by bobby on Sunday, 2-10-13……GO TIGERS!