By: Pat Caputo
1. Andy Dirks – Dirks had an OPS well above .800 in 2012 and well below .800 in 2013. He was ultimately benched during the postseason. The Tigers are lacking left-handed hitting punch after dealing Prince Fielder to the Texas Rangers. They need Dirks, a left-handed bat, to perform more to his level in ’12 than ’13 during ’14.
2. Bruce Rondon – There is no Tigers’ player, in my opinion, being underestimated more than Rondon.. He threw by far the most 100 mph-plus fastballs in the American League last season despite limited innings. He also had a 2.29 ERA and pitched very well returning from the minors after struggling initially last season.
3. Ian Krol – The Tigers trading Doug Fister to Washington has been widely panned, but it will be a lot better received if Krol gives the Tigers a solid season as a late-inning and situation reliever.