In 2006, the Tigers shocked the baseball world by winning the American League pennant. Only three years removed from a 119-loss season and some argued them to be the worst team of all time. Then it all changed and they have been a factor in the AL ever since, led by good, young pitching and a strong offense. But that pitching staff has been less than effective in 2008. Justin Verlander (right) looks like he has figured things out, but Nate Robertson and Jeremy Bonderman continue to struggle and Kenny Rogers looks done. The offense has been solid, but it is hard to score enough to cover for this pitching staff.
The Seattle Mariners have two good pitchers on the front line with Felix Hernandez and newly-acquired Erik Bedard. The rest of the rotation has been awful, but they have performed better than the offense. Jose Lopez (right) has been good while Raul Ibanez and Yuniesky Betancourt have been solid. The rest of the offense stinks worse than limburger cheese.
I expect the Tigers to fix things and finish close to the wild card. Maybe you can find one or two on the scrap heap or get one on the cheap in a trade. The Mariners are done. Sell off what you can and move on.
Both teams have a young superstar-to-be in their minor league system. Rick Porcello might be in Detroit after the All Star break (when the Tigers are finally done with Rogers) and Carlos Triunfel (left) will be in Seattle this year or next. He’s a shortstop for now, but looks likely to move to third base as a major leaguer. I’d be ready to jump if either is available in your keeper league.