American League

Three 2014 Detroit Tigers Bold Predictions

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1. Catcher Alex Avila will step up.

- Avila had a breakout 2011 season after he finished 2010 strong, but then followed up with a sub-par 2012 and 2013 season offensively, save for a few big homers. Avila seemed to have gained a good mental approach back at the end of 2013, and I think he will come into 2014 strong and have another season similar to his 2011 although maybe not as good. Avila can definitely play defense and handle pitchers well but I think his ability to hit will make him a lot better in 2013 for the Detroit Tigers, and he will step up and be a good seven-hole hitter. Avila was putting up some impressive on-base percentage numbers and I think his trend of that could resume this upcoming season.

2. Joe Nathan, Joba Chamberlain, and Bruce Rondon will become a really good back-end of the bullpen.

- In 2006 the Tigers had the Joel Zumaya-Fernando Rodney-Todd Jones set, which was not the best combination in the league, but it was pretty good and worked for them. Nathan is better than Jones, while Rondon and Joba Chamberlain could develop into good setup men. Rondon improved as 2013 went on and he should come back strong with his 100 MPH fastball. Joba could really have a good year out of the bullpen as Jeff Jones tries to fix him and could put up some really good setup numbers. The Tigers bullpen will not suddenly become elite in 2014, but it should be a lot better than the 2013 bullpen whose only good arms were Joaquin Benoit and Drew Smyly.

3. The 2014 Tigers will win more games than any Tigers team since 2006.

- The 2006 and 2011 Tigers both won 95 games. Look at those Opening Day rosters and compare them to the 2014 roster any way that you can, and on paper the 2014 one is the best. Now the 2012 and 2013 ones were better on paper too, but this Tigers team is not one-dimensional and as long as few things work out and the Tigers position themselves to acquire a bat in July, I think this Tigers team could win up to 97-98 regular season games and could possibly bring a World Series to Detroit. Other than the fact they lost Doug Fister for not much, they had replaced everyone they lost very well and are still favorites within the AL Central.

About Niklas Jarvinen

Detroit Tigers writer and fan. My favorite player is Austin Jackson. My favorite things to do are attend baseball games or play baseball. My personal blog can be found here.

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  • Bill

    I bet none of these happen

  • Robert Yankees Porubsky

    Keep dreaming

    • aedgeworth

      Robert, what are you dreaming about for the Yankees these days? Terrible starting rotation, no closer, etc. Then there is the ARoid condition, and “Father Time” Jeter. You are probably not getting much sleep, let alone dream, are you?

      • Dillon

        Or how about paying the 37 year old Beltran 45 mil over three years. Or the often injured Ellsbury 152 million! Those deals are much better than the Cano deal, but still no walk in the park! Their team is extremely old, and if they don’t get this Tanaka guy their pitching will suck as well!

  • Robert Yankees Porubsky

    Keep Dreaming

    • Bobert Spankme Borupsky

      Cry more

  • DarrylM

    The Tigers will be better in low scoring games in 2014. They may lose the slug-fests but there were only a few of those in 2013. And should they make it to the playoffs, winning more low scoring games will push them over the top.

    Asmus will be the key, he has to quickly learn how to manage. If he doesn’t get in the way, the Tigers should again win the Central Division.

  • West Coast

    Avila is the worst throwing catcher in the AL…had more passed balls than almost any other catcher…can’t hit …and you say he is a very good defensive catcher…..which Alex Avila are you watching!!!!!

    • Dillon

      You are completely misguided if you believe Avila can’t hit. Other than managing games that’s his best tool!