By: Kurt Snyder
Forget it! The Tigers aren’t signing Alex Gordon or Yoenis Cespedes.
The days of flying by the seat of their pants are over now, and frankly, I’m glad. The slick, unpredictable moves that Avila has made have returned this team to some semblance of order.
With the signing of Zimmermann and a little luck, the starting rotation may be very good again. And with the new acquisitions for the bullpen, we may have transformed our relief crew from one that was in shreds to a potential strength.
The rotation was a mess in September. In the end, only JV gave us a real shot to win games. No Price, no Sanchez, no chance.
And the bullpen? Oh my goodness, the exit of Soria was the absolute death knell. How many times did we have to endure watching Buck Farmer trot in? How many times were we going to have to see Alex Wilson come in? As good as he was early, it was a crime how much he ended up being used.
So the Tigers should be proud of the job they have done with this mess of a pitching staff. And from a fan standpoint, there is no reason to devalue the improvements with constant desires to sign another expensive outfielder. We needed pitching and Avila went and got it in impressive fashion. But there are questions.
In the starting rotation, the hope is that Pelfrey will be better in Detroit, in a bigger park, with better defense and another year removed from TJS. Those are the things we hang our hat on, but there are no certainties. In fact many would be surprised if he helps us at all.
We feel good about Norris holding down a regular spot in the rotation, to a point. He showed a calm presence on the mound last season, before and after his oblique injury. But we cannot ignore his scare with cancer in the off-season. Nor can we have big expectations about a rookie pitcher. We can be optimistic, but again, no certainties.
In the bullpen, it looks a whole lot better. We have brought in a talented threesome to solidify the back-end and the hope will be that their presence will blend well with what we already have in Alex Wilson and Drew Verhagen. These two are sorely needed depth now and will be counted on in middle to late relief just as much as the new guys.
So Tiger fans need to cool it with all the big dreams of signing a stud outfielder. This is a team in transition. You can’t say they are a player away when you have only filled your needs on paper.
Fantasy land is over, folks. Let some other sucker sign Gordon and Cespedes. Remember, we fell off the face of the earth because we had zero pitching left, not because we lost Cespedes.