Detroit Tigers

Well, we now have season projections from all major sources, and they are pretty interesting, far more interesting than in recent years.

The projection systems out there are ZiPS, PECOTA, and Steamer (although Steamer does not do team projections, only player stats) and USA Today also weighed in had some incredible things to say about what they thought this season would be like.

Here is the real news for Tigers fans: Detroit was listed as 3rd or 4th place in ALL projections, winning somewhere in the range of 80 games. Every single projection listed the same things as the reason: a poor season from an again Victor Martinez, and underwhelming performance by the Starting Rotation, namely a return by Verlander to his numbers of 2014, Zimmerman continuing his decline of the last few years, an oft-injured and ineffective Anibal, basically the 2015 model, a Mike Pelfrey, that is… well… Mike Pelfrey, and a rookie on the back end. They also do not value the depth of guys like Fulmer or Boyd.

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Detroit Tigers

MLB is discussing a plan to expand rosters but require that the game roster remains at 25. Basically something similar to what the NHL does, where four or five guys simply don’t dress for the game.

This has been talked about for years as a solution to the September call-up conundrum, where they want to give a look for minor league players but they don’t want to kill the momentum of games with endless pitching changes and lineup moves. But now, they are talking the entire season.

Let’s just say, for the sake of argument, that they expand rosters to 29, an additional 4 spots.

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Detroit Tigers

There isn’t really much going on in MLB right now. It is still a week from Spring Training. It is too deep into the offseason to project signings. Most teams have a complete roster, barring injury during camp. So this is just a little fun article about some major MLB news this season.

Let’s talk about milestones! It seems like a lot of players are within striking distance of major milestones this year. Some of them are Hall of Fame numbers, some are tainted by PED use, some are just fun.

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Detroit Tigers

So last week I hinted at a few questions I wanted to discuss this week. I also threw out a big question: Are the 2016 Tigers any better than the 2015 Opening Day Tigers?

The Tigers have made a slew of deals this year, not just the big signings of Zimmerman and Upton, but also Pelfry, K-Rod, Justin Wilson, Mark Lowe, Saltalamacchia, Aviles, and Maybin.

But they also lost a ton of talent in Price, Cespedes, and Soria.

So where exactly do the big moves put them in terms of better or worse than last year?

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Detroit Tigers

Well, in the first week of free agency the Tigers have made a number of interesting moves!

First, I will start with the 40 man roster moves.

I’m not going to get into the Rule-5 Draft, suffice it to say that players that have been around for awhile without sniffing any major league experience are available for other teams to pluck during a draft called the Rule-5. To protect a team’s very valuable prospects that are not quite major league ready, there is the 40-man roster. 25 of these men have contracts owned by the major league club. The other 15 play somewhere else in the system. Everyone on the 40 man roster is protected from Rule-5 drafting.

Detroit Tigers

It is the first week of the offseason, which is the third greatest season in sports. What are the other two? 1. Baseball post-season

  1. Baseball regular season
  2. Baseball offseason
  3. I guess Hockey season

I have talked about the Tiger’s holes in the past so I will just do a quick run-down of explicit needs and then areas to upgrade.

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Detroit Tigers

The World Series ended earlier in the week and we have a World Series winner in the Kansas City Royals that really defies a lot of ‘new age’ wisdom in the game. And it is no fluke run where they got hot at the right time. They dominated the American League Central Division all year, they crushed every opponent they had in the post-season, and, oh yeah, they took an extremely similar team to game seven of the World Series last year.

So what do we normally think is necessary for a deep playoff run? Not only great starting pitching, but great power starting pitching.

Don’t tell that to the Royals who had the highest regular season ERA of the ten teams who made the playoffs, and also the highest FIP, and the lowest K/BB ratio. Don’t tell that to the Royals who found an ace in the often bounced around, puts too many guys on base Edinson Volquez. Oh and don’t forget the triumphant return of once considered done Chris Young who only threw 123 innings this year, but made them count in the post-season.

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