Detroit Tigers: Contenders Or Pretenders?

Erin McLaughlinSenior Analyst IIMay 27, 2009

TORONTO - APRIL 6:  Justin Verlander #35 of the Detroit Tigers delivers the pitch during the Opening Day game against the Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre April 6, 2009 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by: Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

The Detroit Tigers are one of the hottest teams in baseball and are currently in first place in the American League Central Division. After being a major disappointment last year, not much was expected out of them in 2009.

This a group still has a large part of the nucleus that was in the World Series three years ago, but are they for real?

Looking at some of the players they have and the division they are in, I think they are definitely contenders.

With Justin Verlander and Dontrelle Willis coming back, the starting rotation will receive a boost. The rest of the rotation features some youth in Edwin Jackson, Rick Porcello, and Armando Galarraga.

So far these young arms have done quite well. How they perform the rest of the year could determine the Tigers' fate.

The bullpen looks solid as well. Fernando Rodney already has eight saves as the closer. Nate Robertson is an established reliever as well. With Joel Zumaya coming back from injuries, the bullpen looks to be a strength.

With guys like Curtis Granderson, Magglio Ordonez, Miguel Cabrera, and Carlos Guillen; the lineup looks solid as well.

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Defensive players like Brandon Inge also help make the Tigers look to be a force to reckon with this year.

So, what do you think, are the Detroit Tigers contenders or pretenders?


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