Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Detroit Tigers week in review: Week 8

The 2013 Detroit Tigers season is now two months old. For the most part we know what we have now. A
very good team with a pretty large flaw. We see a team that should be dominating and at times they are, but once again they are getting off to that Jim Leyland eske slow start. Maybe it is how he manages giving guys rest so early on, and maybe it is just the mix of players the Tigers have currently.

Of course the news good be a lot worse. This is a team that needs to make a big splash kind of move at the trading deadline but they are in first place by 2.5 games after a couple of statement games against the Indians in Cleveland at the beginning of last week.

So let us take a look at the splits. The Tigers are 29-20 and that puts them on the bottom half of the teams currently leading their own divisions. They are 7-3 over the lat 10 and that includes the two impressive wins at the Indians. They are extremely good at home with a 17-8 record and .500 on the road. However they are still just 10-7 against the teams in their division and have yet to play the Chicago White Sox.

The Good

1. Anibal Sanchez- This kid is scary good. He came within two outs of his second no hitter, a game that I had the pleasure to take my son too, and is certainly worth every penny of the large contract he signed this off season. Somehow he is just 5-4 but he has looked unhittable at times and his 2.38 ERA speaks to that. On top of that he has 80 strike outs and may just be the most impressive Tigers starter so far.

2. Miguel Cabrera- Talk about scary good. He looks better this year than last year when he won the Triple Crown. He is hitting .377, with 14 home runs and 57 RBI. By far he is the most consistent Tigers offensive threat.

3. Jhonny Peralta- It is hard to give this guy any credit but he has been better defensively. However he has been a great presence in the bottom half of the batting order. Jhonny is hitting .341 with 13 doubles, 24 RBI, and 5 home runs.

The Bad

1. The bullpen- Jose Valverde has done an ok job closing out games. he has six saves already. Joaquinn Benoit has 7 holds, but the real weakness for this team is getting from the starter to the 8th and 9th inning guys. The Tigers continue to mix and match guys in their pen, but it is clear a move has to be made.

2. Justin Verlander- this seems like one of those good problems to have. JV has just not looked like the dominant force he has over the last two seasons. However he is 6-4 and has 82 K's to go along with his slightly inflated 3.68 ERA. A string of tough starts was snapped on Memorial Day when he went a strong seven innings giving up just three runs.

3. Alex Avila- This might not seem like a big problem but Alex is hitting just .171 with 4 home runs and 11 RBI. The team could use a little more offensive production out of the catchers spot and having him get hot would certainly help the bottom half of the lineup continue to pressure opposing pitching.

Things could be a lot worse, but for a team with a 150 million dollar payroll it seems the 2013 Tigers have not exactly shown their true potential yet.

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