It’s still April, the ivy at Wrigley Field isn’t green so none of this is all that important. However, there are still indicators to look at to see how this season is going to possibly unfold. In the second week of the season we start to see this for what it is; a 162 game grind that is not won in April, but the thing to remember is it can be lost in April….just ask the Los Angeles Dodgers and Zack Greinke. The Detroit Tigers end week two with a 7-5 record and they are tied for first place in their division with the Kansas City Royals. They are 6-4 over their last 10. In the friendly confines of Comerica Park they are 4-2. On the road the are 3-3 and that is a story line we will be following all season. Going .500 on the road is pretty good, and with how scary good this team is at home, doing so would secure their third straight division title.
- Prince Fielder- Prince is scary good and he has started this season on a tear. The great thing about that is opponents can walk him but that gets under Victor Martinez’s skin and he can make them pay for it. Prince is hitting .429 with 4 home runs, and 19 RBI. He has a .527 OBP and hitting behind Miguel Cabrera and in front of Victor is likely going to keep him in the MVP discussion all season long. Prince has 18 hits and five of them are doubles, you can’t teach hustle but Fielder has been a shinning example of just that. He is on a nine game hitting streak as of Sunday’s 10-1 win over the Oakland A’s.
- Austin Jackson- Austin had a banner day on Sunday going 4-6 with 1 home run and 3 RBI and scoring 3 runs against the A’s. Austin is on fire right now. He is hitting .386 with a .435 OBP. He has five walks and just five strike outs. If he and Torii Hunter continue to be the table setters, then this offense is going to score a ton of runs.
- Anibal Sanchez- Anibal went a solid 7 innings this afternoon in Oakland, and he has looked very good as well. So far he has pitched 19 innings and has 21 K’s to go along with just 8 walks. His WHIP is under 1.00 and he has a 1.42 ERA. If he is this good all year, then the division crown is a virtual lock.
- Bryan Villarreal- It might be time for Bryan to head down 1-75 south to the Mud Hens to straighten out his faulty mechanics and see if he can find the velocity on his fastball once again. His ERA is 48.60 and it has been pretty ugly for this reliever so far in 2013. Villarreal has given up 21 hits and 12 earned runs in 16 innings pitched and yet Jim Leyland continues to run him out there. That is a little hard to explain.
- The bullpen in general- This team’s biggest weakness is the bullpen. A move is going to have to be made here. Someone needs to step up and secure the closer’s role, and then maybe the pieces would fall into place a little. The pen has already cost this team some wins, and sure it is only April, but we do not want to be counting those wins that they let slip away in September. Something has to be done.
- Andy Dirks- He just need to find his stroke. Andy is hitting .194 for the year and that isn’t going to cut it. Remember it was the failures of the bottom of the order guys last year that really kept the offense cold and in ruts a majority of the time. The good news is right now other guys are carrying the load but the Tigers need more offensive production out of Dirks.
And the Don Kelly
- Don Kelly has seen action in five games and has had 10 at bats. He is hitting a very Don Kelly like .100, and has one hit.