2015 AL Central Preview: Detroit Tigers

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Apr 3, 2015; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Joe Nathan (36) throws a pitch during the seventh inning of a spring training baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Bullpen

Joe Nathan – Nathan is the closer for now. He’s not having a very good spring this year and there is a possibility that he may be removed from the closer role and cut from the team. He’s an all-time great, but it may be time for him to hang it up and ride off into the sunset.

Joakim Soria – The backup plan in case Nathan flames out early. He’s had plenty of closing experience with over 170 saves in his career. However he’s had an issue staying healthy over the past few years so the Tigers would need a contingency plan.

Bruce Rondon – That contingency plan could be in the form of Rondon. He’s a flame thrower who spent last year recovering from Tommy John surgery. He could be the future closer for the Tigers.

Season Outlook

I believe the Tigers are one of four teams that should compete for the AL Central crown.

However this is the year they fall short as they’ll finish second in the division. Health will be the major concern as their two best players are coming off of injuries.

The bullpen was a major weakness last year and very little was done externally to fix that. The pitching staff has only one dependable starter and the back end is unproven.

Predicted overall record: 85-77

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