Tuesday, May 03, 2011


"Detroit is very talented. They've got great pitchers out there and an offense that is one of the best in baseball. They are going to get some things going. It's a matter of time." -- Curtis Granderson.

That's what is called being polite, although it mirrors what often seems to be said nationally about the Tigers. I do not believe it to be true, however.

In my opinion, the Tigers right now have one legitimate major league bat in their lineup, and that obviously belongs to Miguel Cabrera. Alex Avila is swinging a hot stick right now, and appears to have potential, but it is too soon to say anything more about him. Magglio Ordonez was a prime hitter before injuries took a toll. What he is now is anyone's guess. Getting back Victor Martinez should help.

From there, Detroit's lineup looks largely like guys suited to being role players or Triple A.

Will Rhymes was sent to the minors to make room for Scott Sizemore in the hopes of upgrading production at the top of the order. But Austin Jackson is struggling and might always struggle if he cannot make contact. Brennan Boesch and Ryan Raburn might be nice hitters in small doses, but are likely to be exposed the more ABs they get -- as was the case last year for Boesch.

Brandon Inge would be an acceptable player at 3B because of his defense, which, by the way, seems to be in decline, if he was on a team with some offensive production elsewhere. That's not the case here. Jhonny Peralta looks older than 28.

Ramon Santiago, Don Kelly, Casper Wells -- not a lot to get you excited there.

As for the pitching, you have to like your chances with Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer, but Phil Coke, Brad Penny and Rick Porcello are unpredictable. And probably need offensive support to be successful. Offensive support that appears absent from here.

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