Assessing the Detroit Tigers Performance out of the Gate

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Much like the Minnesota Twins, the Detroit Tigers are not where they expected to be a little over one week into regular season play. They had the spotlight on them opening day against the Yankees-only to struggle.

Whether it’s April or not, it is totally unacceptable for this team to lose back to back series against the likes of the Baltimore Orioles and the Kansas City Royals. These two clubs haven’t been relevant this millennium. The Texas Rangers are on the horizon and they look like the best team in the American League right now.

None of the four starters has produced what he is capable of.

Justin Verlander doesn’t have bad numbers to date, with fourteen innings under his belt and no losses on his record. However, as a perennial Cy Young candidate, the earned run average must come down from the four range.

Max Scherzer has accumulated two wins almost despite himself. His earned run average is five and three quarters and he has only thrown eleven innings total during his two starts. It is safe to say that he has been the luckiest member of the Tigers rotation. This is why Felix Hernandez was the right choice for the Cy Young award last year, even though there were others with higher win totals. It is only one measurement of effectiveness.

Rick Porcello already has two losses and some are whispering whether or not he truly is the golden boy anymore. It has been a substantial period of time since he has looked the part. Brad Penny has all of his focus on marrying a Playboy playmate because his earned run average looks more like the points per game that a point guard should achieve. This is the time that team must pick up ground on the Chicago White Sox because of the appendectomy of Adam Dunn. When the temperatures heat up, those balls will be flying out on the South side.

The three and six start is not just because of subpar starting pitching. There is plenty of blame to go around with this club at this juncture. Center fielder Austin Jackson is hitting around my weight, and thankfully I am not a candidate for The Biggest Loser.

Second baseman Will Rhymes hasn’t looked much better through twenty-nine at bats. The batting production seems to be half effective so far, while the remainder is doing almost nothing. Of course production is expected from people like Miguel Cabrera, Brandon Inge, and Victor Martinez. It has appeared that only Alex Avila is the only other player that received the memo about the season starting. Maybe it’s because he reported to spring training earlier than most as a catcher.

Nine games is not an effective sample for a season in a game that rewards success over time, but it is a good indicator that the wild card will probably not come out of the American League Central. This is why the intra-divisional games on the Tigers schedule take special importance this season.

–Patrick Herbert

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