The Tigers get a day off today following an 8-4 start to the 2017 campaign. The Tigers have a 1.0 game lead in the AL Central and are coming off a series win over the Cleveland Indians, a team they rarely beat at all during an unsuccessful 2016 season.
Detroit failed to make a big splash during the offseason, the lone signing of note was the return of Alex Avila whose father is the GM. Alex Avila is a career .242 hitter who only hit .213 in 57 games with the White Sox last season. In 5 games this season Avila is batting .700 with 2 HRs including a 2 run blast Sunday that set up the Tigers for a series win.
Matt Boyd is the first Tiger to get 2 wins this season. He struggled in his first outing but has returned to his spring training form is his last two. Fulmer and Norris have looked good thus far, in a small sample size. Justin Verlander was rocked in his last outing but his stuff looks good. He leads the team with 18 Ks, no real surprise there. The big question in the rotation has been Zimmerman who is coming back from an injury. Time will tell if he will round into past form.
It’d be easy to just call it a garbage fire and move on, however I’d be remiss not to mention Justin Wilson who has not surrendered a run over 6.1 innings in 7 games while striking out 8. Francisco Rodriguez has not been awful but in true Tigers style (Todd Jones) keeps you on the edge of your seat when he comes in to close a game.
At .256 Iglesias has the top BA among Tigers regulars. The OBP. numbers are not as jarring. The Tigers have homered in each of their first 12 games and are finding a way to win games. Will Victor Martinez look more like himself soon, or have the years and injuries finally caught up to him? Will Cabrera continue the momentum from recent at-bats and begin to once again look like the best hitter in MLB? More questions than answers right now.
The 8-4 start is great. After missing the playoffs a season ago and not really changing anything during the winter I think fans were skeptical. I think fans are still skeptical, but they are skeptical of a first place team with a young rotation that seems like it could blossom with some help. The bullpen remains the most glaring problem. That could still be addressed.