The Detroit Tigers 2015 season was plagued by injuries and the midseason departure of GM Dave Dombrowski. Refocused and determined to return to the post season in 2016, new manager Al Avila quickly made changes, inking a deal with pitcher Jordan Zimmermann early in free agency along with several other veteran players. In order for this team to get back on track like during their recent division title run, Detroit will need solid play from their highly compensated roster of veterans. Zimmermann signed a five-year deal worth $110 million, replacing David Price who was dealt in July. Veteran ace Justin Verlander had a stellar 2015 and should be consistent for this club again this year. In the middle of the rotation, Anibal Sanchez and Mike Pelfrey, who inked a deal in December should both impact this team and have success on the mound in 2016. The Tigers bullpen was a mess last year and ranked 27th in ERA in MLB. This year’s version has been bolstered with Francisco Rodriguez, Jose Valverde, Joe Nathan and Joaquin Benoit along with slew of others. Justin Wilson and Mark Lowe upgrade the eighth inning for this Tigers’ bullpen that was lacking in 2015. Alex Wilson will remain in the primary middle relief role as he was the one bright spot last year at that position. Ian Kinsler at second and a healthy Jose Iglesias at shortstop create a solid middle infield while at the corners, both first baseman Miguel Cabrera and Nick Castellanos will need consistency this season. The Tigers signed Jason Upton in January as their left fielder and will be joined by J.D. Martinez in right and Cameron Maybin or Anthony Gose at the center field position.
With vast improvement across the AL Central in the past few years, the Tigers will have to rely heavily on their veteran core to get it done this season. There is a great amount of talent on the 2016 roster, so be sure to support these guys by purchasing Detroit Tigers tickets and heading out to the ballpark often this season. You won’t want to miss all the AL Central action!
The Detroit Tigers are a baseball team with four World Series and 11 American League Pennants. Not too bad. Those totals rank as the fifth most Fall Classics and have won the ninth most. These are numbers to be proud of.
Of course, so is its collection of Hall of Fame players wearing Tigers baseball caps. Perhaps the most famous of these are Ty Cobb and Hank Greenburg. Cobb may have been the first superstar in the sport. He played for the Tigers for 22 seasons and ended his career with the highest career batting average ever at .366, along with 12 batting titles, an MVP season, and 54 steals of home plate. The Detroit Tigers went to the World Series three times while he played, losing each time.
Hank Greenburg was the next star for the franchise. Greenburg was one of the first great Jewish baseball players, for which he fought prejudice throughout his career. He played for the Tigers in spurts. It so happened that during those spurts the Tigers played in four World Series, winning two (Detroit’s first two). He also managed to hit .313 for his career and bash 331 homeruns. The fact that he only appeared in five All Star games is a travesty, though at least he won two AL MVPs. If he had not served in the military in World War II, he would have put up even gaudier numbers.
Fans are eagerly waiting for the chance to celebrate the next great Detroit Tiger to enter the Hall. Cecil Fielder is a fan favorite, but he is a longshot because his impressive home run total (319) is coupled with a suspect .255 batting average. Perhaps the fans will have to wait until this next batch of stars, Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera, to retire. Cecil’s son, Prince, may even make his father proud and end his career with a Hall of Fame worthy performance.