5 Bold Predictions For The 2015 Detroit Tigers

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Prediction #4: Dave Dombrowski deals for another trade deadline arm

Mar 8, 2015; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Joakim Soria (38) throws a pitch against the Houston Astros at a spring training baseball game at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The biggest problem for the Detroit Tigers going into 2015 will be their bullpen. Finishing 2014 by being swept in the ALDS the Tigers’ biggest problem was also their bullpen.

In reality the media seems to have this one narrative right for the Tigers. Their bullpen is really, really bad. While there has been some effort to revamp it over the off-season, it’s still pretty bad.

Tigers General Manager Dave Dombrowski has had to deal with this same issue for years.

Sep 13, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Jose Veras (31) pitches in the eighth inning against the Kansas City Royals at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

In the last two years around the trade deadline Dombrowski has had to deal for a mid-season acquisition for the bullpen. In 2013 it was Jose Veras from the Houston Astros and in 2014 it was Joakim Soria from the Texas Rangers.

For Tigers fans it is like an endless nightmare since the bullpen has been so bad in recent years. Its blown game after game in the most crucial moments (looking at the 2013 ALCS and 2014 ALDS).

In reality the last time the bullpen has been anywhere near formidable was in the magical 2011 season. The then-closer Jose Valverde went a perfect, yet flukey 49-for-49 in save opportunities that year.

It shouldn’t surprise Tigers fans a bit if a 40-year-old Joe Nathan struggles in the closer role. With Bruce Rondon unfortunately starting the season on the DL (again) confidence might be shot even in the biggest Tigers optimists.

So if (and when) Dombrowski dips into this already bad Tigers farm for another bullpen arm it should come as no surprise.

Unless one of the younger guys or one of the veteran guys step up a trade deadline deal will become a necessity.

While this prediction is certainly missing that “bold” aspect it’s still pretty obvious how bad this bullpen is. How Dombrowski deals with it should be just like the last few trade deadlines in 2013 and 2014.

Next: Playoffs?