With pitchers and catchers set to report this week, Lynn Henning thinks the Tigers are going to be lucky to hit the .500 mark in 2010. He said 75 is more realistic with 80 being a stretch and that’s even with Damon in the fold. I personally think their hitting won’t be that much worse then in 2009 but their pitching should actually be a little better. I think Jose Valverde and Max Scherzer are upgrades over their 2009 counterparts. Keep in mind, Alfredo Figaro started game number 161 so the rotation can’t be much worse then it was at the end of last year (not that I’m down on Figaro, I just think they put him in over his head).
One thing I don’t agree with about this piece is where he says Casper Wells is the most pivotal player reporting this week. The Tigers have plenty of options out in centerfield, and while none of them will be as desirable in April as Curtis Granderson would have been, what happens in spring training doesn’t neccesarily portend what’ll happen the rest of the season. I think Austin Jackson starts at Toledo (having Jackson and Sizemore starting at the same time might too much for Leyland to stomach). I bet they go with a placeholder (Clete Thomas, Casper Wells or Ryan Raburn) in center until they think Austin Jackson is ready.