Detroit Tigers made the playoffs for consecutive seasons, but once again they suffered a meltdown and were eliminated in the ALCS. To some extent, this is a step back if compared to their performance from 2012 when they played in the World Series but lost to San Francisco. It was disheartening to see the Tigers getting swept by the Giants, but fans agree now that it is even worse for them to be deprived of a chance to play the World Series.
The fact that the team that eliminated them lifted the trophy in the end is just a pale consolation and Detroit is now preparing for a new and highly competitive season. They plan on winning the World Series in 2014 or at least make another deep run in the playoffs and in order to do that, they need to reinforce their rotation. They have some of the best starting pitchers in the league, and certainly one of the best paid once but unfortunately these star players failed to propel them to another World Series victory.
Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer will remain with the Tigers for a couple of years as a result of their contract being extended, with Detroit paying a lot of money for both of them. The problem is that the bullpen is still shaky and many relievers failed to defend a narrow advantage, which rendered the efforts of starting pitchers virtually useless. The Tigers suffered as a result of Bruce Rondon leading the team and they now plan on re-signing Joaquin Benoit even though they previously thought about letting him go.
He will become a free agent this autumn but unless the Tigers find a replacement on such a short notice, they are very likely to keep him for at least one more season. A similar decision needs to be made about Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante and although the latter has crossed the 30 years threshold, he is indispensable. Jhonny Peralta is now a free agent, so Detroit could hire him in an attempt of boosting Omar, but then again these are just speculations and a decision is yet to be made.
Detroit needs to consider the prospect of using Nick Castellanos extensively this season, after the shortstop was seldom used in 2013. The Tigers were relatively unlucky to lose Miguel Cabrera who strained a groin muscle in July, and without him they were powerless in the playoffs. To some extent, Prince Fielder stepped up and provided the runs of support that the Tigers were lacking, but his effort was not sufficient.
Overall, Detroit committed the same mistakes in 2013 as the Yankees did for the last decade or so, by focusing almost exclusively on the offense. The fact that they signed some remarkable starting pitchers was definitely a good idea but unless they find a way of plugging all those holes, it is unlikely for them to lift the trophy in 2014. Check out http://detroit.tigers.mlb.com/index.jsp?c_id=det&sv=1 to get an accurate picture of their roster and return to this link to learn more about the recent players transferred.