5. The Tigers’ spate of injuries
There was a great deal of consternation after Eric Hosmer was placed on the disabled list just after the non-waiver trade deadline had passed. Yet, that injury to Hosmer seems almost minor compared to the injuries that the Detroit Tigers have had to deal with.
When the Tigers acquired David Price at the trade deadline, it seemed as though they had managed to build a rotation of four aces, giving them not only an inside track at the Central, but perhaps for the World Series as well. However, injuries have quickly mounted. Reigning ERA leader Anibal Sanchez was placed on the disabled list with a strained pectoral muscle. Joakim Soria, who was acquired to shore up a bullpen that had been slightly less flammable than gasoline, went on the disabled list a day later with a strained abdominal.
Then came last night, when Justin Verlander left his start after one horrendous inning due to a sore shoulder. With the amount of work that he has had over the past few years, and his general ineffectiveness this season, it may be fair to wonder if this is the beginning of the end for Verlander. If he is out for any length of time, the Tigers suddenly find themselves having only two real top starters in the rotation, instead of the four they were banking on.
Max Scherzer and Price seem to be a lot easier to match up with. In fact, if Verlander is out for any length of time, the Royals may even find themselves with the better rotation at this point.