Up next is a road trip to the peskiest of all AL Central teams, and the host of this year’s All-Star Game, the Kansas City Royals. What can we expect out of this series? Read on.
FACE OF THE FRANCHISE
-Drafted 3rd overall in the 2008 Draft by KC
-Finished 3rd in Rookie of the Year voting last year in AL
-Son of a Florida firefighter
-Represented by Scott Boras (thus, expect him to be a Tiger at some point)
-Didn’t sign with Royals until ten minutes before signing deadline
-KC journalists have called him the most hyped Royals prospect since Bo Jackson
-Has terrible grooming habits
They hit the ball well, but what scares me the most about the Royals are the cannons they have for arms in the outfield. Jeff Francoeur and Alex Gordon will make any runner think twice about taking the extra base on balls hit to them. Expect Gene Lamont to have his head called for at least once this series when he gets a runner thrown out by six feet at home.
The soft-tossing Chinese pitcher from Panama that is worshipped by the Tripping Olney Twitter account seems to frustrate Tiger hitters every year. At least he does more than you’d expect from a guy that’s pitched for ten different teams and has a career record of 60-58 and a 4.49 ERA.
But maybe that’s just perception, instead of reality. In Chen’s 13 appearances against Detroit (11 starts), his numbers actually aren’t that good. He’s 4-3 with a 5.95 ERA. So where does all this fear from Tiger fans come from?
Well, Chen wasn’t good at all until recently. And a couple good recent starts will wipe out memories of destroying a guy pretty quickly. The Tiger hitters are a mixed bag against Chen. Here’s some examples.
Miguel Cabrera: 9/18 (.500), 3 HR, 7 RBI
Delmon Young: 6/11 (.545), 1 HR, 3 RBI
Ryan Raburn: 5/20 (.250), 2 HR, 2 RBI
Austin Jackson: 2/15 (.133), 1 HR, 3 RBI
Brandon Inge: 1/23 (.043), 0 HR, 1 RBI
Oh, Brandon…you little scamp.
-Chiefs fans biding their time until the fall
-People too poor to live in St. Louis
KC is a good hitting young team on the rise. Many have named them to be the Tigers' toughest contenders in the Central this year. But until they find something that even remotely resembles a starting Major League rotation, they aren’t going to be in it for the long haul. Over the weekend, they even made the Indians look like a capable offensive team. The Tigers have started the season facing tough starter after tough starter against Boston, Tampa, and Chicago. This trip to Kansas City might be just what they need to get guys like Cabrera and Raburn out of their current funks.