One of the pitchers that the Tigers were looking at for the fifth starter position is apparently off the market.
According to Bill Ladson of MLB.com John Lannan will be the fifth starter for the Nationals as Chien-Ming Wang will start on the DL with a strained left hamstring. Lannan led the Nationals with 10 wins last season and has beaten Ross Detwiller out. Detwiller will work out of the bullpen to start this season.
With Jacob Turner being sent down to Triple-A it looks like the fifth starter race is coming down to Oliver, Smyly and Below. I think that two of the three will make the roster with Oliver in the lead for the starter job and Below to come out of the bullpen. Smyly has the most work to do because he isn’t on the active 40-man roster and would have to earn a spot there before making the big-league squad.
Now looking at the major magazines, ESPN and SI, both of them have the Tigers getting to the playoffs but neither going much farther. ESPN has the Rays beating the Phillies in the World Series while SI has the Yankees beating the Tigers in the Divisional Series with the Angels beating the Giants in the World Series.
If all things go well I think the Tigers could make it all the way to the World Series, but I also think that if things fall apart they could struggle to make the playoffs. The biggest keys to this team in my mind is how can Cabrera handle third, who is the fifth starter and can they find another outfielder to get Delmon Young to DH.
I see this team making it to the ALCS at least, but what do you think? Leave a comment below.