The official start to the season is tomorrow with the Astros taking on the Rangers while most teams, including the Tigers, kick off on Monday or Tuesday. First up are the Twins who should finish last in the division. We’re also catching the Yankees at a good time with our Opening Day on Friday.
Rick Porcello forced his way into the rotation with a nice spring so Drew Smyly will start the season in the pen. I like working younger guys in the pen for the first couple of years of course whats funny is, Porcello is only six months younger than Smyly. I like the fact that we have some depth so I’m glad we didn’t trade Porcello and I’m hoping this is the season where he finally turns the corner.
So far, there’s been no official announcement on the team’s closer, but Bruce Rondon was sent to the Mud Hens. My thought is this won’t last and I still think he would have been better served pitching for the Tigers in a non-closer capacity (think Joel Zumaya) for the season. He’ll be with the Tigers soon enough unless something weird happens in Toledo in April.
The Tigers inked Justin Verlander to a nice extension. That’s a lot of money and long term for a pitcher but Verlander is one of the best. I think we get our money’s worth early on but after that, it’ll depend on how Verlander ages.
Taxes are my life right now and I’ll be bogged down for a couple of more weeks. I’m thinking of going down to Kentucky for some Minor League games over Memorial Day weekend so we will see if that pans. I’ve always wanted to get down there to check out the Kentucky Derby but just haven’t been able to make it work. I’ll have to check Derby betting odds before I put down any money on a horse.
Some quick predictions. Tigers win 94 and run away with the division. The Royals should finish second. The Tigers will not regret keeping Porcello because one of the Tigers 2-4 will miss some time and that pitching depth keeps them comfortably on top.