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Detroit Tigers’ Steven Moya Impressing in Fall League; Making a Case for Right Field in 2015?

October 20th, 2014 at 10:36 AM
By Max DeMara

Late in the season, the Detroit Tigers called up Steven Moya from Erie after his season concluded. He wasn't given enough at-bats down the stretch, though, and struggled to make an impact.

That hasn't stopped Moya from tearing things up in the fall league, however. Through 33 games, Moya is hitting .303 with one home run, eight RBI, four steals and a cool .515 slugging percentage.

Moya, of course, already put together an outstanding season in Erie, clubbing 35 home runs, 105 RBIs and being named the Eastern League's MVP while playing out the season for the Seawolves.

Could Moya be a player that makes a big impact for the Tigers in 2015, taking over right field if Torii Hunter doesn't return or isn't retained? Last week, Dave Dombrowski spoke glowingly about the prospect, but was also cautious in anointing Moya with anything.

"We love Steven Moya," Dombrowski said on his young outfielder. "He plays solid defense, runs well enough for a big guy too, he had a great year in the Eastern League."

According to Dombrowski, what Moya does in the next few months could be key for laying the groundwork for the young man perhaps challenging for a spot next season with the Tigers.

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Torii Hunter Will Present Difficult Case for Detroit Tigers in Free Agency

October 17th, 2014 at 9:26 AM
By Max DeMara

On one hand, Torii Hunter is a team leader, a positive influence in the community and a player still capable of finding plenty of clutch hits on the diamond.

On the other, he's an aging member of a Detroit Tigers' team that many maintain is watching their title window close slowly by the day. His impact in right field is now limited, at best, and his streakiness at the plate sometimes overrides anything else he might provide the team. In the field and on the bases, he's become a plodder.

For all these reasons. Dave Dombrowski will face a tough decision—perhaps his toughest of the offseason—in deciding what to do with Hunter in the weeks ahead. Either Hunter will call it a career himself or return to the Tigers, it seems, if he would be welcomed back there.

"I don't think I've been around a better guy on a team, leader in the clubhouse," Dombrowski said of Hunter this week. "Where all that fits right now we still haven't made final decisions, and so, we'll have to just wait and see how our pieces fit together as far as we go forward."

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Healthy Jose Iglesias Could Solve Plenty of Detroit Tigers’ 2014 Problems Himself

October 16th, 2014 at 2:40 PM
By Max DeMara

Even though Jose Iglesias didn't play a single regular season game for the Detroit Tigers in 2014, his re-emergence on the scene in 2015 could mean everything to his team in the year ahead.

When speaking with the media on Tuesday, Tigers' general manager Dave Dombrowski hinted as much while acknowledging the shortstop's recovery and maintaining that Iglesias's healthy return is a matter of huge importance to Detroit's team.

"The doctors tell me he'll be fine, the doctors tell me he'll be ready for spring training, he'll be ready to go and he's building back on a gradual basis as far as the impact is concerned," Dombrowski said.

He also cautioned, though, that Iglesias has to go through the grind of playing every day while also showing that his body can stand up to the pounding it has taken in the past. If it can, Dombrowski said there would be no qualms about easily anointing Iglesias the everyday shortstop from day one.

"I would think, with what we know from Iglesias, if he returns to the form he was in the past which they tell me he will, but if he does, then he would be our everyday shortstop," Dombrowski said. "Because he's a very, very good shortstop."

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Subtle Hints Prove Detroit Tigers’ Architect Dave Dombrowski Looking to Reshape Bench

October 15th, 2014 at 9:46 AM
By Max DeMara

Sometimes, a person can say nothing but tell everything at the same time with a few subtle hints.

Tuesday, Dave Dombrowski did exactly that when discussing the construction of his roster and the expectations for how he might reshape it during the offseason. The Detroit Tigers are always going to have a solid core, but what about adding a key reinforcement off the bench?

Arguably, that was the biggest problem with the 2014 team in both of their notable trouble spots. The bullpen lacked meaningful, quality depth behind Joba Chamberlain and Joe Nathan, which meant when the big two failed, there was nobody else of quality to turn to most of the year.

The bench, meanwhile, didn't provide the lineup with reinforcements when needed. When Don Kelly is the most fearsome bat of the bunch, that's a problem. It came to a head in the postseason when there was nobody but Hernan Perez and Eugenio Suarez to pinch hit in a key spot. Those two, as nice as they may be, strike no fear in the opposing pitcher.

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Detroit Tigers’ General Manager Dave Dombrowski Wraps up 2014 Season While Looking Ahead

October 14th, 2014 at 7:20 PM
By Max DeMara

DETROIT—On a rainy Tuesday afternoon during the middle of October, the case could be made that baseball should've been on the docket for Comerica Park later in the evening.

Instead, hot dog and pretzel machines lined the bowels of the stadium, a sure sign that winter is on the way. Just down the hall, Detroit Tigers' general manager Dave Dombrowski met with the media to discuss this past year, while shedding some light on what the team may be thinking of doing in the offseason to upgrade their roster and secure an ever elusive title.

Below are significant quotes from Dombrowski's question and answer segment with the media, in which no stone was unturned to get to the bottom of what went wrong in weeks past and how to fix that for the future.

On areas of offseason need: "Three things that would fit for us at this time, one is solidifying our center field situation, either a left handed hitter to put with Rajai (Davis), or a full-time center fielder, secondly, our bullpen to be improved, some of that can be internal, and thirdly, somehow I'd like to mix in another left handed hitter in (the lineup) somewhere. I don't have a specific answer as to where that person is going to play at this point of time. Might even be an extra guy off the bench that would be more of a threat from an offensive perspective than what we've had in the past."

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