Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 6/5/12

The Detroit Tigers are a dismal 25-29, in 3rd place, and 6 full games back of the division leading Chicago White Sox in the AL Central. Tonight, the team opens a 3-game set with the Cleveland Indians. The series is an opportunity for the Tigers to nudge closer to the 2nd place Tribe in the standings and allow the team to set their sights on the White Sox. Can this happen with the current makeup of this team?

Brennan Boesch is running out of time

Here are 10 things you need to know about what’s going on in and around Tiger Town:

  1. I don’t hear this enough but Doug Fister’s injury is a cataclysmic event for the 2012 Tigers. With a healthy Fister all year long I suspect the Tigers would have an additional 4 wins right now, which would flip flop their record to 29-25. Without him, the rotation is stretched far too thin. If this playoff thing is going to happen again, it needs a dominant Fister for the last 3 months of the season. It’s really that simple.
  2. The pitching matchups for this series are Drew Smyly v. Ubaldo Jimenez, Max Scherzer v. Jeanmar Gomez, and Casey Crosby v. Derek Lowe. Do you honestly thing the Tigers can sweep this series? Jimenez hasn’t been good but Smyly has given up 15 earned runs in his last 20.2 innings. And as much as we all want it to click for Casey Crosby and for his arsenal to be commanding and dominant, he just isn’t ready. The best case scenario is that he pitches a strong game here and there while he’s up without total implosion.
  3. Nick Castellanos continues his steady climb up the Tigers’ minor league ranks. After hitting .405 in 215 at-bats with High-A Lakeland, he is now a member of AA Erie at just 20 years old. He sported a .461 on-base %, 17 doubles, 3 triples, 3 homers, 32 RBI’s, and a respectable 42:22 K to walk split. He had nothing left to prove in A-ball.
  4. The Tigers are patiently waiting for their first pick in the 2012 Amateur draft. Thanks to losing their first round pick in the Prince Fielder acquisition, the Tigers don’t pick until the 91st overall selection comes around.
  5. Brennan Boesch has a .229 average and horrid .264 on-base %. For those playing the “where will Quintin Berry play when Austin Jackson returns game”, look no further than Boesch. Heading into this season I would have never dreamed he’d struggle like this but his next stop just might be Toledo if he can’t get this thing turned around. An eventual outfield of Andy Dirks, Jackson, and Berry would not only be fast and athletic, but dare I say, good. You better get it rolling Boesch.
  6. Currently Miguel Cabrera is hitting .318 with 11 homers, 44 RBI’s and a .371 on-base % and somehow it feels like he’s just not clicking. Through the same 54 games a year ago he was hitting .310 with 10 homers and 37 RBI’s so he’s actually ahead of last year’s pace. The big difference has been his refusal to take a walk in 2012. At this point last year he had 40 walks, this year he’s taken just 18. Prince Fielder is slightly off of his 2011 walk pace as well. It makes you wonder if they would be more patient if they had a higher level of confidence in the guy hitting behind them – Delmon Young.
  7. The last time Justin Verlander lost 3 straight starts, which he has just done, was back in 2008. That should give you an idea how ugly this thing has been.
  8. Get used to the name Bruce Rondon. He is the closer of the future for the Tigers. He hits triple digits on the radar gun and has been lighting up the stat sheet for Lakeland thanks to an increased ability to throw strikes in 2012. He is 1-0 with 11 saves in 17 appearances. He has K’d 26 to just 8 walks in 18.1 innings while surrendering only 11 hits.  With Jose Valverde’s contract coming due at season’s end the Tigers will likely promote Rondon soon to see how he handles AA hitting, inching him that much closer to a shot in spring training in 2013.
  9. And from the “Just because it’s fun” department, AAA stud Brad Eldred is up to 22 homers and 61 RBI’s.
  10. Don’t let Andy Oliver’s AAA numbers of 3.99 ERA and 65 K’s in 58.2 innings fool you. He has 48 walks during that span. Jacob Turner turned in his best start of the season for Toledo last night but still has just a 4.30 ERA and 19:15 K to walk ratio. Why is this all relevant? Because the Tigers literally have zero organizational depth when it comes to starting pitching, especially without Fister, which brings us full circle.

Follow me on Twitter @isportsJoe or subscribe to our Detroit Tigers Feed

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Arian Foster: It's hard for me to watch football

Isaiah Thomas recruiting players at All-Star weekend

Report: Charles Woodson joining ESPN's Sunday NFL crew

Best and worst from NBA All-Star Saturday night

WATCH: Klay Thompson can't go home unless he beats Steph Curry in 3-Point contest

Star players are hurting Houston Rockets

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Emmitt Smith: Adrian Peterson only current player who could break rushing record

Coach K gets buzzer-beater win over Virginia for his birthday

Baylor approves new measures to deal with sexual assault

Joe Mauer: Concussions blurred vision, affected hitting

LeBron James says Kevin Love-Celtics trade rumor is false

Michael Jordan gifts Kobe Bryant full set of Air Jordans

NY Post writer takes harsh shot at Jason Pierre-Paul

LaVine, Gordon put on best NBA dunk contest in years

WATCH: Thompson beats teammate Curry in 3-point contest

NFL teams, players hand out awesome Valentines

Earl Campbell ‘disappointed’ in Johnny Manziel, wants to help

Big man Karl-Anthony Towns wins NBA skills challenge

MLB commish: Cubs will host All-Star Game in near future

WATCH: Memphis forward recreates Vince Carter's elbow dunk in game

Bruins forward is goal scoring machine after suspension

Michael Jordan gives Kobe Bryant complete set of Air Jordans

Drake has Kentucky edition of custom ‘OVO’ Air Jordan 8s

QUIZ: Name every NBA All-Star Game MVP

Watch rare footage of Stephen Curry from 2001-02 emerges

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Ranking the ten best free agent pitcher signings

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker