Detroit Tigers Season Wrap Up
- Updated: November 24, 2008
Everyone in baseball was surprised the Tigers did not vie for a playoff spot last year. In fact, they played more like house cats than Tigers. While their payroll ballooned, their play on the field greatly decreased. Despite having many previous and potential All Stars on their team, Detroit was unable to stay in the hunt starting with the first game of the season. Their pitching was very disappointing and ranked 12th in the league, while they were continually not helped by the 13th ranked defense in the AL, meaning the offense was frequently trying to make up ground.
Holes to Fill
As mentioned earlier, the Tigers need to do anything they can that will make them allow fewer runs in 2009 than they did last season.This means that they will have to look at gaining some pitching this off season in both the starting rotation and the bullpen. As reported earlier by BaseballReflections.com, the Tigers may be looking to deal both Dontrelle Willis and Nate Robertson. One has to imagine they are probably only going to get anything decent for Robertson as Willis completely fell apart last season.
There seems to be no answer in the bullpen as perennial closer Todd Jones turned in his retirement papers while everyone else is spending the off season attempting to find their control.In addition to that, they need upgrades in nearly every defensive position (save centerfield where Curtis Granderson has been Gold Glove caliber). While they are not going to sacrifice some of their poor defenders’ bats in the line-up, they could at least keep them at the same position instead of moving them around, or in and out of the line-up.
Their free agents include right handed pitchers Freddy Garcia and Kyle Farnsworth, left handers Casey Fossum and Kenny Rogers, shortstop Edgar Renteria and catcher Vance Wilson.
The only one of the aforementioned that has a chance of coming back is Rogers, but he may be looking at Jones holding his fishing rod and comparing him to another woeful season in Detroit.Most of those players will not be missed at all, but with Wilson going, it leaves them with a real gaping hole at the catcher spot where they will have to find someone to serve at least as a backup.
There are not many reports out there that have the Tigers trading any of their current players to bring in some help that way, so that means if they are going to bring anyone in, it has to be through free agency or the farm system.
Detroit has a few outstanding names in their farm system, but most of those, like AA outfielder Wilken Ramirez and A pitcher Rick Porcello, are at least one more minor league season away form joining the big club. Unless someone surprises early on, it’s hard to see how the Tigers could improve at least this season from what they currently have in their farm system.
It’s hard to see the Tigers improving a good deal over what they did last season. Unless they decide to go after a big time free agent, it’s going to be hard for them to really make strides in their win/loss record and it is unclear if they are ready to spend more when their last spending spree didn’t exactly work out.
They may be able to move up to third in the division next season, but unless something major changes, it’s hard to see them going any higher than that.