MLB

COUNTDOWN TO OPENING DAY: Detroit Tigers

Share This Story

foxsports admin

 
   
 
Meet the Tigers
Projected lineup:
CF Jose Macias
2B Damion Easley
LF Bobby Higginson
1B Dmitri Young
DH Dean Palmer
RF Robert Fick
3B Craig Paquette
SS Shane Halter
C Brandon Inge
Projected rotation:
1. Jeff Weaver, RHP
2. Steve Sparks, RHP
3. Jose Lima, RHP
4. Mark Redman, LHP
5. Nate Cornejo/Brian Moehler, RHP
Bullpen:
LH: Matt Miller
RH: Danny Patterson, Victor Santos, Jeff Farnsworth
Closer: Matt Anderson

2002 Detroit Tigers

Last Year's Record: 66-96, 4th in the AL Central Last Year's Headline: COMERICA, THE LAND TO RUN FREE, AND THE HOME OF THE VISITORS If it were not for the cavernous Comerica Park, last year's run differential of -152 (28th in the majors) would have been far worse for the Tigers. They were the only major-league team without a 20+ home run hitter and were dead last with Baltimore in home runs hit at home with 58. Closer Matt Anderson (22 saves in as many opportunities) and knuckleballer Steve Sparks (14 wins) were the bright spots of the team, but were still part of a pitching staff that produced a 5.01 ERA. Injuries depleted a team that was already lacking talent. The Tigers lost arguably their best starting pitcher, Brian Moehler, for the season with shoulder problems. When third baseman Dean Palmer went down, so did any chance to save face and salvage even a decent season. Palmer was the Tigers' only deep threat and their leader on and off the field. This Year's Question: Has the 2002 roster already eaten too many Ball Park Franks? Losing speedy center fielder Roger Cedeno to free agency makes an already slow team that much slower. The Tigers were 11th in the AL in runs last year, and look for that to get worse as they did nothing in the off-season to recoup Cedeno¿s team-leading 55 stolen bases. While the lack of power hitting serves as an advantage when playing half of your games in a big ballpark, it also proves to be a detriment without team speed. The Tigers will have to find a way to improve their on-base percentage if they want to score more runs than last year. They can start by taking some more pitches. Their 466 walks were third-lowest in the AL. Why This Team Could Be a Contender: Well, lets start with the improvements. Trading Juan Encarnacion for Dmitri Young was a great move. Encarnacion has yet to meet his potential, and the switch-hitting Young has some pop and hits for average (.302 average and 21 homers last year with the Reds). The addition of Young should help Bobby Higginson¿s numbers improve. Teams pitched around Higginson last year to get to the Tigers' weak cleanup hitters. The free-agent signing of third baseman Craig Paquette should help keep Palmer healthy as he moves over to DH. The pitching staff has potential and is the strength of the Tigers. Jeff Weaver, once again the Opening Day starter, has a big up side, and the Tigers hope this is his breakout season. If Weaver pitches to his potential, Moehler can regain his old form, and Sparks continues his ¿sparkling¿ play from last year, Detroit could be in decent shape. Jose Lima is the other starter, and Tigers fans just hope he pitches well enough to keep them in games, so they can watch him dance. Middle relief and closer Anderson are strengths, so strong starting pitching is the key. Why This Team Could Be Contracted: The Tigers have eight consecutive losing seasons, and the chances of reaching nine this year are ¿not good, they¿rrrrrrre great!" Low attendance in a first-year stadium (1.92 million) will not improve unless the team does. Owner Mike Ilitch¿s feeble payroll of $49.8 million (20th in the majors) is not going to make winning games any easier. It appears that he is spending most of his money on the Red Wings until the Tigers show some promise. Hello My Name Is... Robert Fick. I hit over .300 for much of last season, but ended up batting .272, as playing catcher everyday wore me out throughout the long season. This year¿s move to right field should allow me to hit for a higher average and improve upon my 19 home runs and 61 RBIs from last season. Even if I am just average defensively in right, it will be an improvement from last year. A Moment of Silence For... Ernie Harwell. The legendary 84-year-old play-by-play radio broadcaster announced that this would be his last season. Harwell enters his 64th year broadcasting baseball games and has announced Tigers games since 1960. In 1981, he became the fifth broadcaster and first active announcer to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. In 1989, he was a unanimous selection for the National Sportscasters Hall of Fame. Add It to Your Palm Pilot... Chicago White Sox at Detroit, April 10. Take the day off work and celebrate Spring Fever when the Tigers are still in the pennant hunt. You have also shortened the commute to Joe Louis Arena for the Chicago Blackhawks vs. Detroit Red Wings hockey game at 7:30 p.m.
Tagged: White Sox, Tigers, Twins, Reds, Cardinals, Brandon Inge

More Stories From foxsports admin



MLB Videos

Bautista talks Derek Jeter's final All-Star Game Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Jose Bautista discusses Derek Jeter's career and his final appearance in the MLB...

Jeter honored to play in last All-Star Game Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Derek Jeter compares his first All-Star Game experience with his last, Mike Trou...

Matheny defends Wainwright: He's out there to compete Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Mike Matheny comments on the media's reaction to Adam Wainwright's joke about le...

SimLeague Baseball - Simulation Baseball Game

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Yankees/browse/featuredproduct/606363/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_606000/ff_606363_xl.jpg&w=100 27.95 Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash
    Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Detroit_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/1064043/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1064000/ff_1064043_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Gray http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067359/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067359_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room Pullover Hoodie - Steel http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067382/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067382_xl.jpg&w=100 54.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
    New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room 39THIRTY Flex Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067785/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067785_xl.jpg&w=100 31.95 New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Ro..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068294/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068294_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Bl..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice Performance Jersey - Black/Orange http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068787/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068787_xl.jpg&w=100 94.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice P..