Originally posted on Tigers Weblog  |  Last updated 2/1/13
It is getting to be that time of year: TigerFest has reminded that fans that the season is on its way, they pitchers and catchers are starting to pack their bags (they report in only 11 days) the turtle is clearing its throat, and Opening Day is exactly 2 months away. Here is a scrapbook of highlights from the Tigers’ Winter Caravan and TigerFest. Well this time last season, the big problem to solve was the loss of Victor Martinez, and the big solution was the unexpected blockbuster deal to sign Prince Fielder.  This season, the offseason issues were less obvious, and as Spring Training approaches the front office has been very quiet. What does everyone think the Top 5 things to watch are now that Spring Training is around the corner? I’ll throw this list out there? Who will be the Tiger closer? It looks likely that Bruce Rondon will be given every chance to claim the job. If he does not seem up to the task, the Tigers have other options already on the staff (Octavio Dotel, Phil Coke, Al Alburquerque, Joaquin Benoit), or could look at a late signing. Who will be the #5 starter? Rick Porcello looks like the odd man out in a very solid starting rotation. The Tigers have shown patience in not biting on any trades for him under his value. With Drew Smyly showing promise and the Tigers without another lefty in the rotation, Porcello is the odd man out. How well will Victor Martinez come back? Victor was a force in 2011, as he has been routinely throughout his career. But he is 34 and just missed an entire season. What happens if he struggles in his comeback? Who is in Left? It would seem that the job would be Andy Dirks’ to win or lose. But he is one of those guys who has been stuck with the “not a full-time player?” question mark, deservedly or not. A RHB Left Fielder to platoon with Dirks would seem to make sense, but the Tigers didn’t pick one of them up. Do we see Garcia or Castellanos there, and if so, how soon? How will Torii fit in?  Newest Tiger Torii Hunter seems to solve a huge problem from 2012, when Tiger Right-Fielders finished dead last in the AL with a .641 OPS. He also gives them a 2-hitter, a spot the Tigers have struggled to fill for a while. Torii does have a habit of making waves with his mouth though, once referring to Latin American players as imposters.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Philly mayor calls LeSean McCoy ‘cowardly'

Report: Price might not return this season due to knee injury

Matt Forte confirms he won’t be returning to Bears

Cardinals GM: ‘No doubt’ team wants Mathieu as fixture

Charles Barkley on Stephen Curry: ‘He’s just a great shooter’

Louisiana governor warns that LSU football could be cut

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: People with Warriors think they will get Durant

Joe Thomas: It’s a ‘sad end’ to Manziel story in Cleveland

DeMar DeRozan: It will be ‘pretty tough’ for me to leave Raptors

Super Bowl referee says Cotchery play could have been a catch

The NBA is one step closer to putting ads on jerseys

Archie Manning defends Cam Newton over press conference

Cam Newton sends message with ‘I win my way’ shirt

26% of Denver students skipped school for Broncos parade

Eight surprises, letdowns entering NBA All-Star break

Chris Harris: Von Miller should get paid more than JJ Watt

4 likeliest Dwight Howard trade scenarios

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Penn State the latest to offer generic football jerseys for sale

Gary Bettman praises the NHL’s new website and app (which are currently awful)

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

NBA to weigh adding advertisements to jerseys

ESPN, Stephen A. Smith and Little League International sued by parents of Jackie Robinson West

Kobe Bryant shoots down notion he wants All-Star MVP record

Justin Tuck will sign one-day contract to retire with Giants

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

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

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

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