Tigers

3 Key Players For The Tigers In ’14 Not That Many People Are Talking About

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DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 15: Andy Dirks #12 and Austin Jackson #14 of the Detroit Tigers react after Dirks caught a ball hit by David Ortiz #34 of the Boston Red Sox in the fourth inning of Game Three of the American League Championship Series at Comerica Park on October 15, 2013 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

DETROIT, MI – OCTOBER 15: Andy Dirks #12 and Austin Jackson #14 of the Detroit Tigers react after Dirks caught a ball hit by David Ortiz #34 of the Boston Red Sox in the fourth inning of Game Three of the American League Championship Series at Comerica Park on October 15, 2013 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

patcaputo i) Pat Caputo
Outspoken, opinionated and definitely not afraid to say what he...
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By: Pat Caputo
@patcaputo98

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.

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