Why there is no reason to panic about the Detroit Tigers - yet
Where a little more than a week ago, it appeared the Tigers were on a leisurely walk to 100 wins, now the cracks in their armor appear to be getting wider.
This is a flawed team, but it's still a very good team. Panic? That would be inappropriate at this point.
This is why:
- The Tigers were seven games up in the American League Central when this bad spell began. They are still five games up. The bottom line is the AL Central has, if anything, regressed from last season when Cleveland and Kansas City both seemed to make progress. The rest of the AL Central is under .500.
|Justin Verlander: Has figured it out before|
- Help could be on the way. Rookie reliever Corey Knebal throws hard and has a big curveball and looked good in his second outing Monday at Oakland. He dominated in the minor leagues and was a top closer at the University of Texas. He should help. Joel Hanrahan, signed as a free agent coming off Tommy John surgery, should also augment the Tigers bullpen when he is ready.
- The Tigers still have a lineup and a starting rotation of premier players. Their bullpen is shaky, they are badly lacking at shortstop and eventually will need offensive production from the left side of the plate (Andy Dirks should eventually help, though). But their strengths still outweigh their flaws, especially when compared to the sorry competition in their division. The Tigers weren't as good as they appeared at 27-12, but they aren't as bad they have appeared these last eight games, either. Somewhere in between is probably 90 wins, and that would easily win the AL Central. The idea is to build to a crescendo in the postseason, after likely augmenting their club near the trade deadline. The Tigers are still on track to do that.
My column. Decision not to trade Rick Porcello still a wise one - despite recent rough outing: http://www.theoaklandpress.com/sports/20140524/ugly-outing-doesnt-change-merits-of-detroit-tigers-not-trading-rick-porcello-pat-caputo-says
My thoughts on the recent meltdown by the Tigers starting pitchers: