Ok…..now it’s time for the Tigers to get serious.  The World Baseball Classic is over, so a lot of the Tigers’ team will be back for the final 10 games in spring training.  With Wednesday’s 5-4 walkoff loss to Toronto, the Tigers are 11-14.  That’s mostly without nine Tigers, including Miguel Cabrera, Ian Kinsler, Victor Martinez, and Francisco Rodriguez.

Now is the time that manager Brad Asumus and his boss, GM Al Avila, have some decisions to make.

The Tigers’ record may not be great, but it hasn’t been a bad spring so far.   There have been a few sprains, but no major injuries so far.   Of most concern is J.D. Martinez.  The right fielder sprained his foot last weekend and could miss opening day on April 3rd in Chicago. He’ll have more tests done this week.  The Tiger pitching and hitting continues to improve throughout the spring.   There’s still plenty of time for things to change, but as it stands right now, I’m making some early predictions.    First the starters.

Starting Pitching

The Tigers have a good problem in the starting pitching department.  They’ve got seven pitchers, competing for five jobs.  Justin Verlander and Michael Fulmer are the top starters.  Jordan Zimmerman will be a good number 3, if he can stay healthy.  Daniel Norris has pitched well and appears to have locked up the 4th spot.   That leaves lefty Matt Boyd, and veterans Mike Pelfrey and Anibal Sanchez to compete for the last spot.  Pelfrey and Sanchez were terrible last year.  They started the spring just as terrible, but both have turned it around and have pitched very well.  Both also are going to make a lot of money this year, whether they are playing baseball or sitting somewhere watching baseball.  Sanchez gets $16.8 million and Pelfrey about $8 million.

Prediction: Barring any injuries, Boyd will be pitching for the Toledo Mud Hens.  That’s too bad, because he has pitched as well as anybody on the team.   Sanchez will be a starter.  Pelfrey will be the long relief guy and spot starter.

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)