Everyone knew that there would be some changes for the Detroit Tigers going into the 2015 season. Max Scherzer was likely going to be gone and he is along with the fact that Victor Martinez will be out to begin the season. The team that went 90-72 last season to win the American League Central is slightly down right now. Here are the three biggest questions going into the spring.
1. Who fills in for Scherzer? It is a big hole that Scherzer leaves after going 39-8 over the last two seasons. The Tigers still have David Price and Justin Verlander though to lead the staff. It is going to be up to Alfredo Simon and Shane Greene to make up for what left with Scherzer. It won’t be easy but Simon showed during his time with the Reds that he can be a capable starting pitcher at the big league level.
2. Will Miguel Cabrera get back to his MVP levels? Last season saw Cabrera have one of the worst years of his career. He was clearly hurt though. It is going to be a different Miggy in 2015 who goes back to his 30-35 home run, 105-110 RBI levels while batting around .330. There should be no doubt that Cabrera has a chip on his shoulder now this season wanting to prove people wrong who think he is regressing.
3. Can Joe Nathan hold on to the closer job? This is one of the biggest questions of them all. Nathan is 40 years old now and struggled last season. The leash is going to be short on him especially with Joakim Soria out there to take over at any point. This could be the final ride for Nathan and he is going to want to come out with one more big season with 30-35 saves. It is possible but must get over his 2014 year.
Detroit is going to be a force once again but has taken a small step back to the pack. The Indians are likely a tad better right now but that won’t stop the Tigers from winning 85-89 games and make a wild card spot probably. This also has the look of one more big pennant run for the Tigers with Price a free agent after the season. It may be this year or no year in the Motor City.