TMS Team Preview: The 2016 Detroit Tigers

Over the coming weeks, Thunder Matt's Saloon will have previews of all 30 MLB teams. We're starting at the bottom and working our way up based on the current Vegas odds for winning the 2016 World Series.

Today we head to the Motor City to visit the Tigers.
Rookie hazing rituals never got as bad as Johnny's signature "Grubb Rubb" which left three players hospitalized and one blinded permanently in 1983.
2015 Finish: 74-87 (Last Place in AL Central)

So Long: Alex Avila, Rajai Davis, Tom Gorzelanny, Alfredo Simon, Joe Nathan, Neftali Feliz

Welcome: Francisco Rodriguez, Cameron Maybin, Jordan Zimmermann, Mike Pelfrey, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Justin Wilson, Nate Schierholtz, Mike Aviles, John Mayberry, Justin Upton, Bobby Parnell, Casey McGehee

Projected Lineup (via Rotochamp.com)
1. Ian Kinsler, 2B
2. Justin Upton, LF
3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
4. J.D. Martinez, RF
5. Victor Martinez, DH
6. Nick Castellanos, 3B
7. James McCann, C
8. Jose Iglesias, SS
9. Anthony Gose, CF

Starting Rotation: Jordan Zimmermann, Justin Verlander, Anibal Sanchez, Daniel Norris, Mike Pelfrey
Setup: Justin Wilson
Closer: Francisco Rodriguez

Rap Lyric Describing Their 2015 Season:
"Fuck"

   -Eminem, one of his songs

After four straight seasons atop the AL Central, the Tigers found themselves in the cellar at the end of 2015. Worse than the Twins, the Indians, and even the god damn White Sox. To say shit fell apart for them is an understatement.

After getting out to a hot start the Tigers quickly fell back to earth with nagging injuries to Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander, and Victor Martinez struggling at the one job he has. Once it looked like they weren't going to make the playoffs Dave Dombrowski made the right move and began selling off pieces. Joakim Soria went to the Pirates. David Price to the Jays. Yoenis Cespedes to the Mets. Dombrowski was of course fired soon after that. Because when your GM who helped you reach 4 straight postseasons gives up and starts trading off parts, he clearly has to go. Seriously, the Red Sox gained a solid general manager this offseason.

So now the Tigers are doing what all aging teams that begin to decline do. They start slapping on big free agent band-aids thinking this will save the slowly sinking ship. And why not? Their owner has one foot in the grave and is ready to spend "Fuck you" money on players. Why not bring in Justin Upton and Jordan Zimmermann? Will it help? I don't know, maybe? The clock is definitely ticking though as the other veterans on this team don't have many impact seasons left. The Tigers have enough in the tank to make a possible postseason run this season and next, but I cringe to think about what the 2021 Tigers are gonna look like. This season is like Studio 54 nearing the end of the disco era. Do one last line of coke and dance your ass off because this shit is closing soon.

Reason To Watch: Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander. Both of these guys have been outstanding over the years in Detroit, and while they were hampered with injuries last year, they could have a nice little bounceback in 2016. If healthy, Miggy and Verlander are gonna be fun to watch again.
Miggy gives no fucks on where you pitch the ball.
Reason To Drink: The rotation. Zimmermann and Verlander should be solid, but the rest of this rotation has question marks. Anibal Sanchez has yet to string together 30 starts in a season in Detroit. Daniel Norris does show promise but he's still pretty green. I took a crap today and I'm pretty sure that poop could strikeout more people than Mike Pelfrey can.

The Fans: Magnum P.I. liked the Tigers. That's good enough for me.

Their Worst Contract: Victor Martinez. They signed him to a 4 year/$68 million deal last year, at age 36. He of course thanks them with a .245/.301/.366 slash line and career worsts in most other stats as well. They have him for three more years of this shit and he doesn't play the field.

Fantasy Standout: J.D. Martinez. 27 is typically the age that guys hit their prime and Martinez certainly proved that, with an impressive year hitting 38 homers and driving in 102. Put him next to a healthy Miggy and he'll be a top fantasy OF yet again.

Fantasy Bust: Rajai Davis. He's old and not stealing any more. He's also not on the Tigers. Why did you fucking draft him?

The Pop Culture Equivalent To This Team Is: When a sitcom adds a pregnancy story arc to boost ratings. It might work for a bit but this bullshit is getting canceled in another couple seasons anyway.

How did Jordan Zimmermann get so much older after just one season?

Comments