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Monday, January 27, 2020

10 BOLD predictions for the 2019 Tigers

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Detroit Tigers’ Predictions

The last two seasons have been disappointing.  There’s no doubt about that, and they’ve signaled that the Tigers are rebuilding. Do we have any reason to believe that this year will be any better?  Maybe we do.  Here are ten bold predictions for the Detroit Tigers this season.

Cabrera Healthy

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If the Tigers hope to have any success this year, they need Miguel Cabrera to stay healthy.  It’s no mistake that their biggest bat was hurt for the past two seasons and the team put up terrible numbers.

The first bold prediction is that Cabrera will play 150 games this season.  He’ll split time between first base and DH to lessen the pressure on his body.  Not having to go out in the field every day will reinvigorate the big man and he’ll get back to being a dominant spot in the lineup.

Cabrera Comeback

Speaking of Cabrera, staying healthy is going to do wonders for his game.  His average will balloon to a much more Miguel-like .333, and some of the power will even return.  It will be more than enough for him to win AL Comeback Player of the Year.

Stewart goes Yard

Christian Stewart is an intriguing player.  The Tigers have struggled to get production from left field ever since Yoenis Cespedes.  Stewart has shown a lot of polish and pop in the minor leagues.  In four seasons in the minor leagues, he has 93 home runs.

In his first full season with the big club, Stewart is going to impress.  He will belt 30 home runs this year and be a consistent performer behind Cabrera and Castellanos.

Castellanos Stays

Speaking of Castellanos, he isn’t going anywhere.  There have been rumors that Nick is trade-bait.  That he doesn’t want to stick around for the rebuild.  That the Tigers don’t want to shell out the money he wants.  Don’t believe any of it.

Not only will Castellanos sign an extension mid-season, but the Tigers will also ink him just in time because…

Special Season

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Nick Castellanos is going to make a run at the triple crown.  Nick’s batting average has been trending up the past two seasons without losing power.  This is the season that he puts it all together and almost matches Cabrera’s feat from 2012.  Coincidentally, it’s Cabrera who stops him from taking the crown.  Castellanos leads the league in home runs and RBI but falls just two points behind Cabrera for the batting title.

The kid is Alright

Daz Cameron gets called up.  No, that’s not all.  That would hardly be a bold prediction.  Cameron gets the call up in May and immediately gives the Tigers something they haven’t had in a long time, a true lead-off hitter.

He doesn’t blast the ball out of the park like some of the other hitters, but that difference is what makes him so valuable.  Daz gets on base, and he does it a lot.  Then, when he’s on base, he takes some extra ones.

Cameron will lead the league in steals as a rookie.  He’ll generate plenty of walks to go with a healthy batting average.  That combination will lead to Daz Cameron being named an All-Star.

Moore like It

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Back in 2013, it looked like Matt Moore was the next superstar.  A young lefty with electric stuff and a head for the game.  Then he got hurt.  He underwent Tommy John surgery.  He was never the same.  It’s hard to predict how long it can take a pitcher to recover from a torn ligament.  How much mental and physical retraining is required before they finally bounce back.  Well, that’s precisely what I’m doing.  Moore is going to have a big year.

He signed a one-year, and the Tigers are going to kick themselves for not locking him down long term.  Moore will win his first ten decisions, pitching late into games and saving the shaky bullpen.  He’ll end up in the top ten in Cy Young voting and be a bright spot in the lineup.

Rookie of the Year

Spencer Turnbull barely beat out Daniel Norris for the last spot in the rotation.  Time is going to show what a great idea that was for the Tigers.  Turnbull is going to come out blazing, striking out thirty in his first three starts.  Then he’ll settle in and begin to dominate hitters.  His stuff will move, his arm slot will deceive, they won’t have enough tape on him.  All of this will lead to a sub-three ERA.  The baseball world will take notice, and Spencer Turnbull will win Rookie of the Year.

Ace up their Sleeve

Jordan Zimmerman.  He was supposed to be the piece that the Tigers needed.  This was back when he wasn’t expected to be the ace of the staff.  But after Verlander and the like left town, Zimmerman remained, and he has not impressed.

This is the year that Zimmerman does what no one believes he is capable of.  He becomes the ace of a staff.  The young pitchers are going to look to him for guidance, and that role is going to restore his confidence.  Jordan Zimmerman will win twenty games for the Tigers.  After finding his stride, he works deep into games by keeping his pitch count low and cutting down on the walks, and this allows him to dominate his opponents.

Wild Card

The Tigers will play competitive baseball down the stretch, which is maybe the boldest prediction of all.  Not only that, but they will hang on and capture one of the wild-card spots in the AL.

What do you think?  Am I crazy?  Are these predictions too bold?  You can let me know here.

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