We at Razzball realize that exporting our views across the country has damaging consequences on the blogosphere.  To help make amends, we are reaching out to leading team blogs and featuring their locally blogged answers to pressing 2009 fantasy baseball questions regarding their team.  We feel this approach will be fresher, more sustainable, and require less energy consumption (for us anyway). The 2009 Tigers Fantasy Baseball Preview comes courtesy of Bill Ferris from The Detroit Tigers Weblog.

1) Last year’s acquisition of Edgar Renteria and Miguel Cabrera led to a defensive rotation that saw 3 regulars (Guillen, Cabrera, and Inge) bounce around the field.  Has the musical chairs ended?  Does Carlos Guillen really play the whole year in LF?

I think Guillen will get the most at-bats out there, but I’d see that being only about 60-65% or so. The impending injury to Gary Sheffield will likely free up the DH spot at some point and things will get shuffled around. I think he’ll likely fare okay  at the position, but it will be other factors that may force him to move (like the need for more offense in the infield for example).

2) What are your thoughts on Verlander and Bonderman for 2009?  Bounceback candidates or more challenges to come?

I expect more from both of them. I think Verlander will make the tweak or two he needs to regain his control. Plus he didn’t pitch that badly in terms of his peripherals last year, I’d expect some natural regression (progression) towards his FIP numbers. Bonderman I think will be a big boost to the rotation. He’s had injury problems the last 2 years, but last year’s injury should have him available to pitch the bulk of the season. Plus it gave his elbow some extra rest and I think he’ll be healthier and more effective than at any point in his career.

3) Would you take the over or under on the following HR/RBI projections:  Miguel Cabrera 35/110, Gary Sheffield 20/80, Magglio Ordonez 20/100, Adam Everett 2/40?

Over, Under, Over, Push.

4) Who ends up with more saves:  Fernando Rodney, Brandon Lyon, or Joel Zumaya?

Brandon Lyon. If Zumaya is healthy I think he’ll be the guy ultimately, but given that is such a big IF I’m penciling him in for 0 at the moment.

5) My blogmate Grey sports an impressive moustache.  Rank the moustaches of these noteworthy Detroit Tigers baseball cap wearers:  Jack Morris, Jim Leyland, Kirk Gibson, Chet Lemon, Magnum PI?

Jack Morris pic Jim Leyland pic Kirk Gibson

Chet Lemon pic Magnum P.I. pic

Great question. Tom Selleck in a landslide followed by Jack Morris, Kirk Gibson, Jim Leyland and lastly Chet Lemon. As an aside, I saw Tom Selleck hit a couple balls out during batting practice at Tiger Stadium one time and this is one of my favorite TV scenes of all time (see below)

  1. sean says:

    This team is the class of the AL Central. Starting at the top with Granderson, this lineup can definitely produce, and, if the bullpen can stay healthy, they should be able to shut the door with a lead in the 8th. I like them to win 89-92 games this year. Strange to think, but it’s true that regression means progress for nearly the entire roster…

  2. AdamPS says:

    Todd Jones didn’t make the cut for mustachioed Tigers? For shame…

  3. @AdamPS: Ha. Well, we were going with an 80’s moustache motif. Granted Jones is as old as most of those guys but he still didn’t fit in…(plus, we love saying and writing Chet Lemon….what a great name)

    @sean: I’m torn on this team. This team could win 95 or 75. Their lineup seems old and beat up (Sheff, Ordonez, Guillen…) and their staff is promising and beat up. Should be interesting at least…

  4. @sean: Kirk’s in the list. I almost used that pic but felt the real ‘stache beats the illustrated one. Love the other three.

  5. sean says:

    Just about anyone on that ’84 team qualifies. If only I lived in a time when a little man fur wasn’t frowned upon, especially in the form of a lip sweater…

  6. Emporers Monkey says:

    What kind of year do you think Granderson will have? I think he may be undervalued this year.

  7. @Emporers Monkey: I think Granderson should be good for 100/20/70/15/.280. He got fluffed up going into 2008 b/c people thought he could deliver 30/30 after going 26 for 27 in SBs in 2007. MockDraftCentral has him at #50 with McLouth, Victorino, and Ellsbury not too far behind. In that case, he may still be a bit overrated for my tastes as I’d take McLouth (better HR/RBI) and Victorino (better SB) over him. I’m not sure yet on Ellsbury but it feels like a tossup (Ellsbury more speed, Granderson more power)…I could see moving towards Ellsbury b/c he has a better shot of going 15/50 than Granderson does of 30/20….

  8. @Grey: wow, we basically agreed on granderson. nice. that said, i fart in the general direction of your ichiro ranking (i’ll take every guy mentioned above over him)…

  9. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Rudy Gamble: I said in that post I wasn’t drafting Ichiro because he’s always overrated. So I just pulled out a Clairol hair dryer and blew it right back in your direction.

  10. @Grey: You still ranked him there. Cust kayin’.

  11. PWNightmare says:

    Bless You Boys.

  12. BigFatHippo says:

    @Rudy Gamble: @Grey: Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries, now leave or I shall taunt you………. a second time.

  13. Steve says:

    @BigFatHippo: Ready to mock, if you’re around…

  14. GasTheObese says:

    Was Magnum “P.I.” really that drunk he A) Couldn’t identify Trammel and Whitaker in the first place or B) couldn’t put together that they were at least players after they hit him with the tickets? That was a strong ass riddle they threw at him though.

  15. sickmangarner says:

    I’m pretty skeptical about the Tigers chances. SO much depends on (apologies to William Carlos Williams) a lot players exceeding projections when the likelihood is they won’t. On offense, only Miggy and Granderson have realistic chances to improve (and you could argue that Miggy is so good, there’s not really room for improvement). Inge, Maggs, Polanco, Sheff, Everett, Guillen–they not on the upswings of their careers and injuries are a certainty. I’m more hopeful about their starters, esp. with better infield defense with Everett and Inge at 3B fulltime. Bonderman and Verlander seem to have a pretty good chance of improving a LOT on last year and even if Galaragga slides a bit, he’s a good fifth starter. Even Adam Everett’s glove doesn’t give me hope for Nate “Balls-in-play” Robertson. His 08 was a horror show. The pen rests on the arms of three guys (Lyon, Zumaya, Rodney) that have as much history of injury and wildness as they do lights-out, shut-the-door relief pitching. I’ll watch every game hoping they prove me wrong but I’m not optimistic.

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