After blazing out to an 11-2 record last season, things quickly went wrong for the Detroit Tigers. With a recreated team and a new belief, the 2016 version of the Tigers looks to reverse their fortunes. The problem is, they may have to do so without such a hot start.
According to ESPN's Buster Olney, the Tigers' opening schedule is the second hardest in the entire league. Thirty-two of the team's first 41 games come against teams that were over .500 in 2015. This includes 16 of their first 18 games against the Yankees, Pirates, Astros, Royals and Indians. That doesn't sound like a fun time.
Adding to the tough schedule are the mounting injuries. Cameron Maybin, Daniel Norris, Alex Wilson and Blaine Hardy will all be out for the opening of the season, while Victor Martinez and Anibal Sanchez are only just returning. The team will not be at full strength until the end of April, and they very well could be digging out of an early hole.
So, it will probably be tough sledding for the opening month, but don't get discouraged if the team struggles. Let's just think of it as getting the hard games out of the way early. I'd rather start slow and finish fast then repeat what happened last year.
Assorted links to your favorite team
Tyler Collins is in the driver's seat to make the roster. I wonder what kind of car Collins drives. The team is valued at $1.15 billion by Forbes. We all had a hand in that so good for us. Sports Illustrated provides their team preview.
The Tigers aren't last! In fact, I think they might be a bit underrated? Famous last words.
Are high school pitchers throwing too hard?
SI provides an interesting excerpt out of the book, "The Arm: Inside the Billion-Dollar Mystery of the Most Valuable Commodity in Sports." In it, Jeff Passan details the changing dynamic of high school pitching. To be honest, when I was high school, god knows I was chucking it as hard as I could. Which wasn't very hard. Because I played tennis in high school.
Walk up music, a tradition unlike any other
Crave ranks their 10 favorite walk up songs in baseball.I'd like to submit Anthony Rizzo's combo of Taylor Swift's Bad Blood and Marky Mark's Good Vibrations.
PICK UP DON KELLY
Moves continue as teams whittle down their rosters. The Marlins inexplicably dropped Don Kelly. I mean he's coming back from Tommy John surgery, but he's DON KELLY. The Padres are scouting Pablo Sandoval, Aaron Sanchez is the Blue Jays' fifth starter and the Astros' Tyler White made the roster. Oh yeah, and the Tigers traded Bryan Holaday.