If you want some solid reading, Peter Gammons wrote a nice column and really mixed in quite a few topics. He talks about the post-steroid era beginning, and then he throws out a bunch of lists. The Braves topped the teams he felt were spring training watches, and proclaimed A.J. Burnett and Josh Beckett were THE players who had to have good seasons.
Three Tigers made it in there. Magglio Ordonez was the sixth best comeback to watch. That was no surprise, but what really opened my eyes was the final list of eight players who could have breakout seasons.
Right there at number one was Jeremy Bonderman. If he can pitch like he did after the All Star break, when he had 85 strikeouts, a 3.70 ERA, and a 1.10 WHIP in ninety innings, I’d have a tendency to agree with him.
And even after that, he wasn’t done with the Tigers because at number eight he threw in Carlos Pena, who also had an impressive second half. While he only hit .250, he did post an .876 OPS in the second half, and he slugged in sixteen homers in 66 games.
So maybe when it’s all said and done, Tiger fans will have something to cheer about. A first basemen who finally lives up to the hype, and a budding ace in the rotation.