Nearly every expert predicted the Detroit Tigers would battle the Royals for the AL Central title last year. The Royals fell off a cliff, but the Tigers still put up a little fight for the division. The Indians ended up running away with it by winning 94 games.
The Tigers missed a Wild Card spot by three games. I blame the back-end of their starting rotation for them missing the postseason. Their bats were alive and even Justin Verlander looked like his old self.
I thought the Tigers would make a few big moves this offseason, but their biggest transaction was trading for a platoon-option centerfielder Mikie Mahtook.
Here is the 2017 MLB season preview for the Detroit Tigers.
It has become a yearly tradition that we look at all the former MLB All-Stars that aren’t having very good years.
The season is a little more than half over and it’s not too late for some of these players to bounce back and turn their seasons around. You can look at our Un-All-Star team article last year, many bounced back and finished strong.
Since I’m an active fantasy baseball owner, it didn’t take me long to make this list. A few of these guys were on my teams early this season, but were quickly dropped. I spent most of my time just baffled that some of these guys were actually All-Stars at one point.
The old benchmark for an All-Star was thrown out with the bathwater when Bud Selig decided each team must have at least one representative in the All-Star Game.
Here is America’s White Boy‘s 2016 MLB Un-All-Star team.
The Detroit Tigers went from AL Central division winners in 2014 to basement dwellers within a calendar year. Al Avila took over as general manager and spent the offseason correcting some of the wrongs former GM Dave Dombrowski made.
The Tigers have more firepower on their roster right now than the roster that made it to the World Series a few years ago. That’s a scary thought…but their starting rotation isn’t up to that level.
Can Victor Martinez and Miguel Cabrera play in more than 120 games this season?
Here is the 2016 MLB season preview for the Detroit Tigers.
San Diego was quite busy this offseason. Yonder Alonso and Jedd Gyorko are the only starters from last season that will be in the starting lineup for San Diego. They’ve traded a lot of youth to acquire players like Justin Upton, Matt Kemp and Wil Myers, but they now have a team that could make the postseason.
The Padres are in the unfortunate position of being in the same division as the Dodgers and the defending World Series champions, the Giants. San Francisco doesn’t look as opposing, but the Dodgers might be the best team in the Majors. The road to a postseason berth will be a difficult one.
Can San Diego contend this season or will they face the same growing pains the 2013 Toronto Blue Jays faced after completing so many offseason trades?
Here is the 2015 MLB season preview for the San Diego Padres.
The San Diego Padres aren’t trying to use a slow-build process to rebuild their team. New general manager A.J. Preller is charging out of the gate. He was a scouting director for the Texas Rangers for the last decade. During his time there, Texas used their farm system to trade for MLB-ready bats and arms.
He appears to be trying to use the same method in San Diego.
The Padres have already traded for former All-Stars Matt Kemp & Justin Upton, former top prospects Wil Myers & Will Middlebrooks and acquired underrated talents like Derek Norris and Brandon Morrow.
Can the San Diego Padres instantly contend with the Dodgers and Giants in the NL West or will they need a year to tinker with their current roster?
The Atlanta Braves are coming off a successful regular season, but disappointed in the playoffs. Their big acquisition of Justin Upton last offseason didn’t pay off immediately. They struggled offensively in stretches, but was bailed out by their pitching.
The Braves lost starting pitchers Tim Hudson and Paul Malholm to free agency then lost Kris Medlan and Brandon Beachy with elbow injuries. Newly-signed Ervin Santana & Gavin Floyd will help fill the need, but it will be an uphill battle.
The Braves spent the offseason signing all their young talent to contract extensions. They lost Brian McCann to the Yankees and didn’t sign any impact bats to fill their on-base needs.
Will the Braves repeat as NL East champs?
Here is the 2014 MLB season preview for the Atlanta Braves.
The Atlanta Braves are trying to repeat the success they had in the 1990s. They have been hovering in & out the playoffs for a couple years and they hope their offseason moves will push them to the next level.
The Braves are replacing two-thirds of their outfield with a pair of talented brothers. Justin & B.J Upton have a lot of pressure to produce this season. They are replacing Martin Prado and Michael Bourn, two players who had career years in 2012.
Can the Braves fight off the Washington Nationals and win the NL East?
Will Kris Medlen start this season hot, as he ended 2012?
The Arizona Diamondbacks completed one of the biggest trades this offseason. They shipped their presumed franchise outfielder Justin Upton and third baseman Chris Johnson to Atlanta for 3B/OF Martin Prado and mix of young talent.
It would be easy to write Arizona off this year, but this team won their division in 2011 and finished last season with a .500 record. They are going young, but they’re not rebuilding.
Can manager Kirk Gibson push his team and make the playoffs?
Which starting pitcher will step up and help Ian Kennedy lead the staff?
Will Arizona miss Justin Upton’s presence in the middle of their lineup?