The Tigers are off to an amazing start this year. At 11-2 they have the best record in the majors. The end of last year’s season left many Tigers fans wondering what would become of the team. The pitching was in a sad state, and nobody knew how the line-up would look. The off season was kind to the Tigers, and it looks like we are in line for another A.L. pennant.
The Detroit Tigers have pulled off a trick that only the best teams can do. Their position in the standings never changes, but their roster continues to evolve.
The Tigers, who host the Yankees for four games starting Monday, rolled into Saturday as the best team in t he majors, winning nine of their first 10 games and sitting atop the American League Central. They have won the division in each of the last four years, earning the 2012 A.L. pennant by beating the Yankees in the championship series.
The Yankees have turned over much of their roster since then, without returning to the playoffs. The Tigers have stayed on top, despite losing 15 of the 16 players they used in the final game of the 2012 World Series, which they lost to San Francisco in a sweep. Only Miguel Cabrera remains.
The Tigers’ designated hitter, Victor Martinez, missed that year with a knee injury, and catcher Alex Avila was on the team but did not play the final game. The point is that the look and feel of the Tigers’ roster is much different now, yet the team still wins.
“There have been a lot of changes,” said Dave Dombrowski, the Tigers’ president and general manager. “It’s kind of the game that you’re always challenged to do: When you have a core group that you try to build around, you try to bring young players in, if possible, because you don’t want to end up in a position where you wake up and your club is all older, so you’re not able to perform at the same level. It’s a compliment to everybody in the organization, in player development and scouting.”
Here is the The NY Times article in full.