Plenty of pitchers will be wishing they could skip their turn in the rotation this season in the MLB's American League. If the Motor City Cats get heated up, nobody will blame them.
Outside of a lack of team speed, the Tigers possess all the offensive weaponry necessary to cripple even the strongest of A.L. pitching targets. All of this, without Victor Martinez. A few weeks ago, Leyland addressed his concerns about a lack of speed, simply stating, "if they hit them were they're supposed to hit them, they can trot."
Not a bad problem to have. The baseball world has been clamoring for several weeks about the potential for an explosive offense in Detroit since the huge contract deal with Prince Fielder that surprised most everyone. Again, an offense that doesn't include Martinez. That will come in 2013, and with it even greater firepower.
Outside questions at the lead off spot and the fervor of Miguel Cabrera playing third base as though it's blasphemous, the Tigers lineup has the promise to be solid everywhere but out of the chute. Austin Jackson must again find the stars that had him wrapped up during 2011. If he can shine at the plate the way he dazzles in the field Detroit will be deadly.
Even without a great Jackson, the Tigers could be absolutely brutal on American League pitching. Let's take a look.