November 16, 2012
When Dave Dombrowski and Mike Illitch went out and got Prince Fielder, the expectations for the Tigers were nothing less than winning a World Series Championship. They were picked to win the AL Central by 8 to 10 games. They ended up winning the division by just 3 games. Now, with the signing of former Los Angeles Angels outfielder Torii Hunter, is it fair to say the Tigers will win the division by 16 to 20 games? Probably not; But anything less than a second straight trip to the World Series will be considered a blunder.
With that, here are 5 things the signing of Torii Hunter does for the Tigers:
1. Better Hitting
In the outfield, the majority of the Tigers’ hitting came from Austin Jackson. Right field was a weakness all season, where the batting average was just .235.
2. More Experience
Brennan Boesch has only played 2 seasons in the majors, while Andy Dirks was a rookie last season. The Tigers can now ease them into the majors as a platoon while letting Hunter mentor them for the next two season.
3. Number 2 Man
Hunter will cement the number 2 spot in the batting order. He will be more consistent than Quintin Berry and Omar Infante. Another consistent hitter ahead of the Tigers’ 3-4 hitter will only make Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder harder to handle.
4. Better Defense
Hunter was a Gold Glove outfielder in 2009. Couple that with the inconsistent play of corner outfielders last season, and Hunter will easily improve Detroit’s defense. There is a lot of ground to cover at Comerica Park, and the combination of Hunter and Jackson will give the Tigers’ pitchers an advantage at home.
With all the ups and downs last season, hopefully somebody like Hunter can bring some guidance to make the team more consistent night in and night out.
The addition of Torii Hunter was a great move. The Tigers were not consistent in the regular season and as a result, they had to make a late rally to catch the White Sox. This addition should fix that issue and make the Tigers a more dominant force. My early-early prediction is that the Tigers will win the division by 7 games, and make it back to the World Series.