2014 Detroit Tigers for Dummies

A quick look at the Tigers' offseason transactions and outlook for 2014.

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2014 Detroit Tigers Brad Ausmus

Dec 11, 2013; Orlando, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus talks with reporters during the MLB Winter Meetings. David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s what’s changed since the Tigers were eliminated from the 2013 MLB Playoffs.

As always, there were other movements within the farm system and some transactions such as Luis Marte and Danny Worth’s departure for Toledo.

 

Comparison

2013 Detroit Tigers

2014 Detroit Tigers

Lineup: Austin Jackson Austin Jackson
Torii Hunter Torii Hunter
Miguel Cabrera Miguel Cabrera
Prince Fielder Victor Martinez
Victor Martinez Ian Kinsler
Jhonny Peralta Andy Dirks/Rajai Davis
Andy Dirks/Matt Tuiasosopo Nick Castellanos
Alex Avila/Brayan Pena Alex Avila
Omar Infante Jose Iglesias
Bench: Hernan Perez, Danny Worth, Don Kelly, Ramon Santiago Steve Lombardozzi, Don Kelly, Hernan Perez, Ramon Cabrera/Bryan Holaday
Notes: The 2013 Tigers stole only 35 bases. Worst in the Majors. They hit 176 home runs (7th in MLB), but never really found a way around the bases, often struggling to score more than three runs a game for long stretches. Removing Jhonny Peralta and Prince Fielder from this lineup means two things: less extra-base power, and better baserunning. The Tigers are clearly interested in creating runs this year, with their additions of speed, and Jose Iglesias at short.

 

2013 Tigers 2014 Tigers
Starting Rotation: Justin Verlander Justin Verlander
Max Scherzer Max Scherzer
Anibal Sanchez Anibal Sanchez
Doug Fister Rick Porcello
Rick Porcello Drew Smyly
Bullpen: Joaquin Benoit, Drew Smyly, Al Alburquerque, Phil Coke, Luke Putkonen, Bruce Rondon, Jose Veras, Jose Alvarez, Darin Downs, Jose Valverde, Jeremy Bonderman. Joe Nathan, Ian Krol, Bruce Rondon, Joba Chamberlain, Phil Coke, Luke Putkonen, Evan Reed, Jose Alvarez, Al Alburquerque, others.
Notes: Detroit’s 2013 rotation was quite good. The closer situation in 2013 was a mess at the outset, until Benoit stepped in and took over. It can be said that Detroit’s bullpen has been in question since 2010. Losing Doug Fister shouldn’t prove to be too large a blow, if Porcello can pick up where he left off in ’13. Smyly, the rotation’s sole lefty, will have his work cut out for him. Besides adding a veteran closer and the lefty Krol, the Tigers, in the last two seasons have lost two very stable arms, Octavio Dotel and Joaquin Benoit. The bullpen will continue to trouble Detroit unless the they can get contributions from Alvarez, Reed, Kyle Lobstein and others.

 

Tomas Laverty, XN Sports senior writer/editor, and frequent contributor to the MLB section lives and teaches English in Detroit.
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