A few weeks back, in a quiet corner of the Tigers home clubhouse at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Drew Smyly sat at his locker, his left arm and shoulder wrapped tight with ice.
Nathan entered the season as the lone pitcher who didn't have any question marks hanging over his head. If he has a great season, the bullpen won't necessarily follow suit. But if he has a poor season, well, it almost certainly will.
It's early, but Detroit Tigers' bullpen concerns growing daily
Detroit Free Press, John Lowe
The Tigers had played six games. The only game in which the bullpen hadn’t given up a run in the ninth inning or later was Opening Day.
Five Overly Rushed Conclusions From the Tigers’ First Week
Walkoff Woodward, Grey Papke
The Tigers have played a week’s worth of games now, so we’ll use this small sample size to draw a bunch of overarching conclusions about the state of the ballclub, because that’s what sports punditry entails.
The Tigers bullpen will be a real concern later in the 2014 season
Motor City Bengals, Sam O'Toole
The Detroit Tigers are off to a 5-2 start, but there are still concerns for the team and it all starts with the bullpen, who has struggled in the first seven games of the 2014 season
Around the AL Central:
Indians vs. White Sox recap (Thursday): Salazar makes history, but Tribe loses
Let's Go Tribe, Jason Lukehart
The Cleveland Indians lost the opener of their four-game series against the White Sox in Chicago, as starting pitcher Danny Salazar made history of a kinda-good, kinda-bad nature.
White Sox 7, Indians 3: Quick strikes between strikeouts
South Side Sox, Jim Margalus
Danny Salazar makes a kind of history, but Jose Abreu and Co. make it a night he'd rather forget.
The Twins dropped their third in a row today, as the A's swept the 3-game series in Minnesota.
Garcia was a big part of the present and future, but he's set for surgery next week.
Elsewhere in baseball:
Is it time for one MVP, Cy Young and Rookie of the Year award?
SI.com, Cliff Corcoran
With the season less than two weeks old, it's far too soon to break down the candidates for the major player awards in each league.
Mike Schmidt says umpires should not call balls and strikes
HardballTalk, Craig Calcaterra
Force Fields? How do they work?
The Riser, the Runner, and the Best Fastball to Hit the Majors this Year
The Hardball Times, Noah Woodward
With spring training in the books and as we begin to forget its many forgettable performances, I recently thought about what I’ll take away from the games I watched.
Justin Verlander (@JustinVerlander) April 11, 2014
Off day. San Diego. Could be worse. pic.twitter.com/po0ZMVFvS0— Mario Impemba (@mario_impemba) April 10, 2014
Miguel Cabrera (@MiguelCabrera) April 10, 2014
Torii Hunter (@toriihunter48) April 10, 2014