Now that the rosters are set and opening day is near, I'm going to make some predictions for the Tigers season. These are not mathematical projections, but rather a mix of science and intuition. I'll start by offering ten predictions for Tigers batters:
Austin Jackson will continue to whiff and his batting average will drop to .275. He'll make up for it with increased power (10 homers), better use of his speed (35 stolen bases) and a few more walks. His defense will be even better and he'll earn a Gold Glove for his efforts.
There will be a revolving door at second base all year long with Will Rhymes, Ramon Santiago, Carlos Guillen, Danny Worth and Scott Sizemore all seeing action. Rhymes will bat .270 with a .325 OBP but have little power and only average defense. Guillen will try to come back in May but will re-injure himself and finish his career as a Tiger on the disabled list. Sizemore will have an outstanding first half for Toledo and then win the the Tigers second base job in the second half (.275/.330/.400).
Magglio Ordonez will be limited to 400 PA due to injuries, but bat .300 with a .820 OPS when he plays. Casper Wells will get most of the at bats in his absence and have a nice season as a role player - .270 BA and 16 homers in 350 PA.
Miguel Cabrera will have another MVP caliber season - .320/.410/.620 with 40 homers. The off field news will stay quiet.
Relieved of much of his catching duties, Victor Martinez will have a big year with the bat hitting .300, slugging .500 and making good use of his many opportunities with 105 RBI.
Ryan Raburn will not quite be a full-time starter, but he'll reach 475 PA. He'll be streaky , but hit for an .800 OPS and 20 homers. He'll also commit fewer defensive gaffes with more steady playing time.
Jhonny Peralta will be a disappointment with a .300 OBP and sub-par defense. He'll hit 15 homers, but will lose some playing time to Danny Worth later in the year.
Brandon Inge will bat .240 and lead the league in check swing strike threes, but will regain some of his power. He'll hit 20 homers in drive home 75 runs.
Alex Avila will be a solid defender and improve at the plate - .250/.336/.400 with 12 round trippers.
The Tigers will finish fourth in the American league with 780 runs scored.