Publish date:

14 Tigers

Author:

TANKERS

SCOUT'S TAKE

KEY QUESTION

It'll be tough to do because his contract is so big, but they have to move Miguel Cabrera. He can offer a contender a lot: He still hits the ball hard, and you know the moment's never too big for him. The club needs to start cashing it all in and get prospects back for their players. Will they start with Cabrera?

BUST CANDIDATE

Everyone used to say, JaCoby Jones needs to play every day. Well, he finally got 430 at bats last year and did nothing with it. His defense is above average, but he hasn't made any adjustments at the plate. At 26, he's not young anymore.

ON THE CUSP

He's going to start the year in the minors, but Casey Mize is ready. He's had a great spring: The fastball tops out at 97 and has good feel. If they were contenders, he could break camp with the big league team. Their rebuild is going to start with him.

LAST LICKS

Michael Fulmer and Shane Greene are good trade candidates.... He's not one of these new-school managers, but Ron Gardenhire is a stable presence who can handle the strange mix of veterans and young guys here.

THE PAYOFF PITCH

IT WILL be a rough year in Detroit, with the Tigers in the second year of a rebuild that is expected to take at least four. There aren't many players with upside here, especially on a pitching staff that was among the league's worst last year, but one hurler getting a lot of helium is Matthew Boyd. The 28-year-old lefthander raised his innings pitched total for the third straight season, with a career low in ERA (4.39) and a career high in strikeouts (159). He shifted his pitch mix to emphasize his slider more, throwing it nearly a third of the time and more slowly than he had before. The combination is akin to what Patrick Corbin did on his way to a $140 million payday with the Nationals. Such improvement is a lot to hope for, but a Boyd who takes the ball every fifth day and keeps his ERA around 4.00 will go a long way toward making Detroit respectable.

OVER UNDER

69.5

The Tigers have lost 98 games two straight seasons, and they're still an aging club with few impact prospects on the way. Another big—and necessary—sell-off is coming.

LINEUP

2B Josh Harrison

.293/8 HR/.363 SLG

LF Christin Stewart

.267/2 HR/.375 OBP

RF Nick Castellanos

.298/23 HR/89 RBI

1B Miguel Cabrera

.299/3 HR/.448 SLG

3B Jeimer Candelario

.224/19 HR/.393 SLG

DH Niko Goodrum

.245/16 HR/12 SB

SS Jordy Mercer

.251/6 HR/.315 OBP

C Grayson Greiner

.219/0 HR/.281 SLG

CF JaCoby Jones

.207/11 HR/13 SB

BENCH

OF Mikie Mahtook

.202 BA/9 HR/.359 SLG

IF Ronny Rodríguez

.220 BA/5 HR/.335 SLG

FANTASY BREAKOUT

With 48 homers over the last two years in the minors, CHRISTIN STEWART has power that will translate to the big leagues.

ROTATION

RH Michael Fulmer

3 W/4.69 ERA/7.5 K9

RH Jordan Zimmermann

7 W/4.52 ERA/1.26 WHP

LH Matthew Boyd

9 W/4.39 ERA/1.16 WHP

RH Tyson Ross

8 W/4.15 ERA/1.30 WHP

BULLPEN

CL Shane Greene

32 SV/5.12 ERA/9.2 K9

RH Joe Jiménez

4.13 ERA/1.20 WHP/11.2 K9

RH Buck Farmer

4.15 ERA/1.56 WHP/7.4 K9

MANAGER

Ron Gardenhire