The Detroit Tigers so far in 07 have been doing a superb job of staying in the running for the AL Central and top dog in the AL Wild Card. One thing the Tiger’s has seen a lot of this year unfortunately would be injuries. Right from the get go in spring training when Kenny Rogers had a blood clot that required surgery and forced Kenny to miss at least half the season was a big shock to Tiger fans everywhere.
Not to mention back up catcher Vance Wilson’s injury that will require him to undergo Tommy John surgery from what I understand and he won’t be back this year.
The Tiger’s bullpen has been riddled with injuries since the start of the season. Fernando Rodney had neck stiffness that required him to miss some time but we were able to handle that until his return but there were even more injuries that would prove crucial to the Tiger’s success in 2007.
The biggest one would have to involve the 103 mph hurling Joel Zumaya who dislocated his middle finger while warming up in the bull pen. That was the crazy thing about the whole ordeal was that he did while warming up. Word is he could be back around August but some feel it might even be the end of September or even next season. From there we’ve seen Zach Miner suffer and injury and starter Nate Robertson has also suffered injury but he should be making his comeback in the next few weeks. Bonderman had a blister on one of his throwing fingers that kept him out for a few starts but that was nothing major.
Since these injuries, Tiger fans like my self have seen their team struggle tremendously. Granted we are still in 2nd place but after all the Win’s we’ve given up have proven crucial as well. The Indians game where Todd Jones gave up 5 runs in one inning was one of the worst games I’ve seen in a while. Don’t get me wrong though, I have seen some great pitchers come out of the minors. Tim Byrdak is one of them just to name a few. Mr. Byrdak has proven to be a great pitcher and I believe we need to use him more. There are a lot of things the Tiger’s need to do get straightened around.
Personally I have a few things I haven’t really understood? Why does Jim Leyland have to bring in like 5 guys from the bullpen every night? If the starter is doing good then I just don’t see the need to start bringing in guy after guy. He always talks about how he likes to get 6-7 innings at least from his starters but half the time they are doing fine and he takes them out? Those moves I will never understand. The big thing the Tiger’s need to do before the deadline is try to deal, Todd Jones or Fernando Rodney or Wilfredo Ledezma for some new relievers and a closer because these guys just aren’t cutting it. They weren’t even all that great last year either.
We are about half way into the 07 season with the All-Star break coming up in a few weeks, and a lot of people are left to wonder “Can The Tigers Do It?”. The right answer would be Yes! They can! but they need to start looking for some alternative relievers and closers because what we got now just is not reliable enough each game. I believe the Tigers will make the playoffs but I just question if their bullpen can carry us all the way. Our bats are doing fine, even stellar some may say but the pitching in some areas are lacking. Like on June 18th when Todd Jones again gives up a large lead in the 9th inning and nearly lost us the game. They just need to get rid of him period.
They did one good thing by dropping Mesa but that just brought up Rodney so really they got rid of one problem to bring up another. All in all, it should still be a very good year for the Tigers. Make sure to go vote on MLB.com for your favorite Tigers into the All-Star game. Looks like Pudge, Polanco and maybe Guillen will make it. Try to get Ordonez in! He’s have an MVP year and clearly doing better that #1 Manny Ramirez, #2 Vlad and #3 Ichiro. He deserves to go!