The most popular topic across baseball during spring training is the Tigers' infield. Will Miguel Cabrera be able to handle the hot corner? Will Brandon Inge earn the starting job at second base?
While many observers feel that Miguel Cabrera will last only a few weeks at third base, I am a firm believer that he has the work ethic to be successful. He has been working incredibly hard to lose weight and learn the footwork to return to third base for the first time in three years. However, it is also important to understand that like every baseball player, he will commit errors. Unfortunately for Cabrera, every error he commits will be scrutinized and analyzed more than any other. Overall, fans should be confident that Cabrera will get it done at third base.
Now, Brandon Inge is a different story. There is no questioning his work ethic; there is also no questioning his athletic ability. In fact, during the Tigers first spring training game against the Atlanta Braves, Inge made two dynamic plays at second base, which will help him to earn the starting nod come April. The real question lies with Inge's bat. If he can return to form and start hitting effectively, he will easily win the job at second base, hands down.
The Tigers' defense is not without its faults. However, Peralta has been an exceptional shortstop since his arrival in Detroit, and Prince Fielder will do just fine at first base. Even Jim Leyland understands his defense in his statement to the media, which was reported on Mlive.com.
"If you guys are sitting in here and think, or if I sit here and think that there's not going to be a ball go by once in a while, that's not going to happen. We're all crazy," Leyland said. "I'm not going to make a big deal out of it. Some of you will, some of you won't. But the fact of the matter is, as a manager, when you put people there you accept what you believe you might get."
Look for the Tigers' defense to commit its share of errors, but they will also make some big plays that lead to key victories. All of the Tiger pitchers, including Fister, will have excellent support behind them throughout the season.