Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Lions in Great Shape ... Tigers Hurting

A couple weeks ago, it appeared the Tigers were headed for 100+ wins and the Lions had some major concerns. Now, the pendulum has swung the other way.

It started with tendinitis in the throwing arm of promising pitcher Jacob Turner. This basically eliminated Turner from the opening-day roster and means either Duane Below or Andy Oliver will be the 5th starter in April. Blegh. I still hope Turner joins the rotation by mid-summer, but we'll see. For now, the 5th starter will continue to be a major weakness for Detroit. Not only because those guys aren't great pitchers, but because they wear down the bullpen.

Then, Miguel Cabrera took a groundball to the face and got 8 stitches. He's out for a couple weeks, and should be ready for the April 5 opener. If he's not, you can bet your farm that Brandon Inge will be the opening day starter at 3rd. I. Hate. Brandon. Inge.

Even if Cabrera is ready for April 5, he'll miss the rest of the preseason. Does this matter with such a great player? Probably not. But seeing the pictures of Cabrera's bloody face just didn't seem like a good omen for the Tigers season.

Then, the good news.

The Lions franchised Cliff Avril, keeping him on the team for at least one more year. They re-signed DT Andre Fluellen as well. The D line looks very solid: Suh, Fairley, Avril, KVB, and Fluellen/Jackson/Young coming off the bench. It looks like Corey Williams is the variable. Is there a spot for him along with Suh and Fairley? Isn't that too much money to invest at DT?

Then, the Lions pulled off a stunner by re-signing Stephen Tulloch for five years. I have no idea how this happened, with a half-dozen teams pursuing Tulloch and offering him plenty of money. The Lions just gave a record contract to Megatron, but they somehow are able to pay Tulloch as well. That probably means that we're not spending any money in free agency, except for inconsequential CB Jacob Lacey, who Detroit just added for secondary depth and a possible nickel CB. But who cares. Tulloch was the best free agent on the market who fit a need for Detroit. Fantastic job retaining him.

This also means that DE and MLB are positions that can safely be taken off the Lions draft board for the 1st round. DT and RB too, and of course WR and QB. That's assuming that the Lions management aren't completely incompetent, which I hope is a safe assumption.

That means were looking at OLB, CB, tackle, center, guard, and safety. Lots of options ... I'll have some update on that later .... Go Lions!

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