And then the blows started...
First, Andy Dirks underwent back surgery, and will be out three months. The Tigers hope to replace him with Rajai Dirks receiving more playing time, and another internal option.
Then, Jose Iglesias shin issues got worse, not better, and he's likely out for most, if not all, of 2014 with fractures in both shins. Again, the Tigers will look to replace him internally.
Next, Anibal Sanchez had a start skipped due to shoulder inflammation. Per reports, he received a cortisone shot and is hopeful to start next Monday. But with a history of shoulder problems, it remains a concern.
And now, the Bruce Rondon news, that he'll miss the 2014 season due to having Tommy John surgery. Again, the Tigers will look to replace him with internal options.
Aside from the worst injury stretch for the team in recent memory, for a World Series contender, there is only so many times a club can replace key roles with internal options.
This final blow is arguably the worst, especially given the challenges of the bullpen in 2013. Rondon was expected to play a key role in the back end of the bullpen, and there is no clear replacement for him.
Stay tuned for the latest from spring training, as the Tigers try and piece together a roster with an increasing number of question marks.