The Detroit Tigers have a 45-40 record and sit just barely out of first place in the American League Central. They have a fundamentally flawed roster, but Manger Jim Leyland is getting the most out of it. Even though they fired their pitching coach this week, due to some less than stellar performances by the starting rotation. The Tigers went just 7-11 in interleague play, and have a 20-7 record against the other teams in their division. Even with that they have not been able to seize control of this division.
The offense has scored 390 runs on 771 hits. That hit total is fourth best among the AL teams. As a team they are hitting .268 and that is the second highest team BA in this league. They are accomplishing all of that by all star performances by Catcher Alex Avila, near all star performances by shortstop Jhonny Peralta, and C/DH Victor Martinez. All three of these players are hitting better than or slightly below .300.
When we start to look at the pitching we see that this staff is severely depleted. Ace Justin Verlander has been lights out, and earned an all-star birth. However past him in the starting rotation we see nothing but question marks. This staff has given up 392 runs, and the staff ERA is 4.39, which is the third worst staff ERA in the AL. Verlander’s ERA is 2.32 so that really speaks to what is going on with the rest of the starting pitchers. The bullpen is very good, and closer Jose Valverde has converted 20 saves and will be on the All Star roster.
While it may seem like a divisional crown is within this team’s grasp, as a lifelong Tigers fan I can effectively say they are more than one player way from being a legitimate playoff contender.
- Detroit Tigers news and notes
- Joshua Lobdell.com