Paul Wezner, Executive Editor
On the whole, I'm very encouraged by the first week of play. A 4-3 record is solid - nothing great, but certainly nowhere near how anyone was feeling after seven games last season. Miguel Cabrera has obviously established himself as one of the most dominating hitters in the game, and first week burst from Brandon Inge was very encouraging given his offensive struggles in the past. Possibly the most exciting part of the week was that the bullpen was relatively reliable, with the exception of Brandon Lyon's implosion on Tuesday in Toronto. Fernando Rodney closing out both weekend games (including striking out the side on Saturday) was a very promising sign as well given his finally 100% healthy once again. It's still far too early to be discussing other than the next upcoming opponent, but the fact that the Tigers have avoided a week one disaster, is in some ways, a step in the right direction.
Mark Anderson, Managing Editor
Though the won-loss record isn't as pretty as you'd like after one week, I'm actually encouraged by this team right now. Through the first seven games of the season, the offense has come out swinging the way it was supposed to last year. Through those seven games, the Tigers offense scored 41 runs; an average of 5.9 per game. Even if you completely eliminate the outburst on Opening Day, the Tigers offense has still averaged 4.3 runs per game. That's a positive sign for the offense, as they've only been held below four runs on one occasion thus far. The pitching has also been at least somewhat encouraging. Despite a rough first start from Justin Verlander, he looked much better and was let down by his defense on Saturday. Galarraga looked spectacular on Friday, while Edwin Jackson was great in his first start and solid in his second. Rick Porcello certainly wasn't dominant, but it was a nice MLB debut, and Miner appeared to be prepared to handle the job at an adequate level. Rounding things out, the bullpen has had a few bumps, but early on Fernando Rodney has been filthy, Ryan Perry has shown flashes, and Nate Robertson may be taking well to the bullpen role. All that combined adds up to an encouraging start for a team that could have started the year anywhere from 7-0 to 0-7, given the uncertainties leaving camp.
Jason Avery, Associate Editor, Amateur Baseball
After going 4-3, I'm encouraged. The bullpen, outside of Tuesday's loss at Toronto, has done an outstanding job. Brandon Inge is off to a good start and has already hit four home runs. If he can continue to swing the bat well, it will take a lot of pressure off the top five hitters in the lineup. Then of course, there's Miguel Cabrera, who seems to be on his way to a monster season with 10 RBIs and three homers in the first week alone. The Tigers never really got on track last year, so after losing three of four in Toronto, it was nice to see the Tigers bounce back and sweep the Rangers. Now they have three division games before a tough trip to the West Coast with a stop at Kansas City to end it, and they'll have the Yankees waiting for them when they return, so the rest of the month will not be easy.
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