By Brad Faber @Brad_Faber on April 21, 2014
The Detroit Tigers have had their fair share of concerns early on this season, but have managed to put together a winning record of 9-6 nevertheless. They currently possess a one-game lead over the Kansas City Royals in the AL Central as well. Here are five positive signs from Tigers' 2014 season thus far.
Nick Castellanos is off to a nice start to his rookie campaign. He is currently batting .256/.319/.442 with two home runs, two doubles and eight RBIs through his first 12 games. He has also looked rather decent in the field and has only committed one error up to this point. It is beginning to look like he is going to be the Tigers' third baseman for a very long time.
After being the Tigers' leadoff man since 2010, Austin Jackson has been taking his at-bats in the No. 5 and No. 6 spots this season. He has taken to his new role as a run producer very nicely as he is currently hitting .308/.365/.481 with one home run and seven RBIs. As the weather begins to heat up, look for him to begin driving a few more balls out of the park and set new career-highs in homers and RBIs this season.
Ian Kinsler is off to a tremendous start with his new team, and he has given the Tigers a nice spark at the top of the order. At the moment, he is hitting .317/.353/.476 with two home runs and 11 RBIs. He has truly started the 2014 campaign with a bang, and don't be surprised if he ends up batting over .300 this season for the first time since 2008.
The switch-hitting Victor Martinez is on his way to having a much better first half in 2014 than he did in 2013. He is currently batting .308/.373/.500 with three home runs and seven RBIs. He is by far and away the Tigers' best left-handed bat at the moment, and he has been one of the biggest threats in the Tigers' lineup throughout Miguel Cabrera's slump.
The Tigers' starting rotation is their biggest strength, and with the exception of a few rough starts from Anibal Sanchez, Rick Porcello and Drew Smyly, it has been as good as advertised thus far. Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer both have ERAs below 2.35, and Porcello bounced back yesterday and held the Los Angeles Angels to just one run. Sanchez and Smyly are bound to bounce back as well. They have too much talent not to.
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