The ZiPS projections for the Detroit Tigers 2008 season were released this morning. They are a bit more pessimistic than I had expected and there are worries about depth and the impact injuries would have:
Pretty clearly, the Tigers are one of the AL’s Big 5, but I think they’re probably still 5th, for the simple reason that they’re ill-suited to handle injuries and various other unfortunate happenstances that can arise during the season.
ZiPS sees the Tiger’s top hitters all taking a step back from their outstanding 2007 performances:
|Player||2007 OPS||ZiPS 2008 OPS||Difference|
I don’t see Curtis Granderson dropping a total 24 points, but regardless of the drops these are respectable numbers. One major improvement for the Tigers is some consistency that was gained by adding risk in depth. Ryan Raburn’s ability to cover the outfield as well as second and third bases and respectable bat should keep him busy throughout the year.
But as ESPN’s Keith Law point’s out, the bullpen is the real worry. Like it or not, much weight will be put on Fernando Rodney to lead the bullpen. Something he has the talent to do but he needs to work on his control and cut down on walks. ZiPS is optimistic on Rodney projecting a 3.86 ERA.
Behind Fernando Rodney and Bobby Seay there isn’t much to get excited about in the bullpen for middle-relievers.