The Detroit Tigers are a trendy World Series pick in 2014. They have MVPs and Cy Youngs, but the Tigers may still have causes for concern as the season swings into the second full week of action. Against another World Series contender in the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Tigers may have been dealt another cause for concern when outfielder Torii Hunter left the game early due to an injury.
Hunter left the game in the fifth inning with a left knee contusion after trying to make a play and sliding into a wall. Hunter is no stranger to crashing into walls. Last season in the ALCS, he literally crashed head-over-heels into the wall and into the bullpen at Fenway Park. This year, the veteran has jumped out to a hot start with three home runs for the new-look Tigers’ lineup.
If Hunter does end up facing DL time, it would change the look of the Detroit offense once more, and possibly not for the better.
For as highly regarded as the Tigers are, they are a team with flaws. The offseason departure of Prince Fielder is a huge bat gone from the lineup. No matter the philosophy, that is still a difficult void to replace. The injury to Jose Iglesias weakened the defense, and Detroit is still unproven at third base and left field. The offensive attack is certainly different in Motown, but it still may not be enough to get over the hump come October.
Max Scherzer was good once again Tuesday night, Justin Verlander is rounding into form, but can the back half of the rotation hold up over a full season? Joe Nathan was brought in to anchor the bullpen, but he is also off to a slow start in his new digs. The AL Central favorites still have some kinks to work out as 2014 moves forward.
With Hunter potentially missing some time, it makes the outfield very vulnerable for the Tigers. Detroit is encountering more question marks, and that could be a cause for concern in the future for Miguel Cabrera and company.
Nick Schaeflein is a Sports writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ptchr2424 or add him to your network on Google.