With "Inge"sanity ruling discussion during spring training, the real issues about the Tigers once the season begin have been pushed to the background. These are the things we will likely be talking about - good or bad - once the season begins Thursday:
1. Austin Jackson - He had a horrible April at the plate last season before bouncing back. But still, he was far from the ideal leadoff hitter. If his on-base percentage rises and strikeouts drop, Jackson's stats as a so-called table setter will be off the charts. If he doesn't, there will be a lot of fretting about how the Tigers lack a table setter. And such talk will be justified.
2. Miguel Cabrera - His move to third base will now become a primary focus. If he is just OK, there will be tons praise for him. If he makes countless errors or obviously lacks range, it will become the major story surrounding the club.
3. Rick Porcello - He's been either really good or really bad. His inconsistency has been maddening. If he doesn't perform well to start the season, his youth will not longer be considered the crutch it once was. If he performs well, there could be talk about how the Tigers not only have the best starting pitching rotation in baseball, but one of the best of this generation.
4. Jhonny Peralta and Alex Avila - I put them in the same category, even though they are very different players at varied stages of their careers. Why? They both play premium position and greatly exceeded expectations in 2011. Can they do it again?