The Detroit Tigers, amongst early favorites to contend for the 2012 World Series title, have sputtered out to a .500 start with lackluster offensive production, a severe lack of speed and inconsistent pitching.
Luckily for Jim Leyland's bunch, they play in the mediocre AL Central, which will give them some time to figure themselves out, but if they get overly patient, they could see the division slip away from them, as the 2011 Boston Red Sox did.
It is hard to pinpoint exactly what the main cause for the Tigers' slow start is, but there are certainly some clear candidates. To begin, a bullpen that gave the Tigers a 77-0 record after seven innings in 2011 has already lost them six games in 2012. Beyond that, Brennan Boesch and Delmon Young, most notably, have produced poor numbers to begin the year. Also, the Tigers have had some starting pitching woes, although with seven quality starts in a row, they seem to be turning that around.
Dave Dombrowski had a great 2011 trade deadline and will need another one if the Tigers are to have a legitimate chance at dethroning the Texas Rangers.