MLB 2013 Preview: Detroit Tigers

Detroit should pick up where they left off in 2013. Photo: On the mound for the Detroit Tigers, Justin Verlander AP/Ted. S. Warren

LOS ANGELES, March 10, 2013 — The Detroit Tigers are the defending American League Champions after an 88-74 season. The Tigers didn’t have many needs going into winter, but they did need a closer after parting ways with Jose Valverde.

However, Valverde remains a free agent and the Tigers are still in need of a closer. The hope was for Bruce Rondon to take the job, but he has not had a very good spring, to say the least.

Miguel Cabrera AP/Orlin Wagner

The Tigers may choose to stick with Rondon, but a closer by committee situation seems to make sense for now.

With their strong rotation and even stronger offense, the lack of a closer will not keep them from winning the AL Central pennant again in 2013, but it may hinder their post-season exploits.

Projected payroll: $145,425,000

Notable Players Out: DH Delmon Young, C Gerald Laird, RHP Jose Valverde

Notable Players In: RF Torii Hunter, C Brayan Peña

Prospect Watch: OF Avisail Garcia and LHP Casey Crosby

Jose Valverde AP Photo/Duane Burleson

Highlight Hitter: 3B Miguel Cabrera (ZiPS 2013 Projections: .318/.395/.561 35 HR/96 R/112 RBI)

Highlight Pitcher: RHP Justin Verlander (ZiPS 2013 Projections: 17-8, 3.09 ERA, 9.03 K/9, 238.1 IP)

Projected Lineup: C Alex Avila, 1B Prince Fielder, 2B Omar Infante, 3B Miguel Cabrera, SS Jhonny Peralta, LF Andy Dirks, CF Austin Jackson, RF Torii Hunter, DH Victor Martinez

Projected Rotation: RHP Justin Verlander, RHP Doug Fister, RHP Max Scherzer, RHP Anibal Sanchez, RHP Rick Porcello

Projected Closer: RHP Bruce Rondon? (Possibly a closer by committee or a free agent yet to be signed)

Manager: Jim Leyland

Projected 2013 Finish in AL West: 1. Detroit Tigers  2. Kansas City Royals  3. Cleveland Indians  4. Chicago White Sox  5. Minnesota Twins

Kevin J. Wells writes about Major League Baseball and punk rock music.  Follow him on Twitter @WellsOnBaseball 

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Kevin J Wells

Kevin J. Wells was born and raised in the Los Angeles area in a town called Montrose.  He currently plays guitar for and is a founding member of the Los Angeles punk rock band Emmer Effer.  He has worked in a number of different career fields including Behavioral Therapy, Commodities, Insurance, and most recently a food cart in Portland, OR. Kevin has been both a sports and entertainment columnist and editor for The Washington Times Communities since January 2013.

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