Friday, June 3, 2011

Detroit Tigers: The Home Stretch

 With just under two-thirds of the MLB season completed, the Detroit Tigers find themselves in the middle of a tight AL Central race with the White Sox and Twins. To increase the intrigue of this race, it is now quite apparent that only one team from the AL Central will make the playoffs, since division-leading Detroit would be 6 GB from the wild card leading Red Sox if they were in the wild card hunt.
    First, the Tigers need to release the past-his-prime and expensive Magglio Ordonez to save a few million dollars. The Tigers then need to address the holes in OF and RP/SP. Making a trade for Jarrod Washburn (and moving Luke French to the bullpen) and/or Josh Willingham (maybe even Adam Dunn) would help meet those needs and keep Detroit atop the standings. Another idea would be to trade Placido Polanco and bring up the speedy Scott Sizemore from Triple A Toledo.
    Detroit is 23rd in MLB in batting average (.256, with the league leading Angels batting .286) and 7th in ERA (4.00, with the league leading Giants at 3.57). If the Tigers want to be a playoff contender, they need a great batter more than a great pitcher. More run support for an already great rotation (Verlander and Jackson are all stars, Porcello has 9 wins as a rookie, Galarraga was the ace of last year, and a promising arm in Luke French) would put the Tigers in position for a run deep into this (and next) year's playoffs.

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