After two seasons in a row of losing records, the 1991 Tigers managed end on the right side of .500. So it was only natural that they were thinking positive thoughts heading into 1992.
There were some new faces in Lakeland as spring training commenced.
Outfielder Dan Gladden, a hero of the 1991 World Series with the Minnesota Twins, was signed as a free agent. Young Scott Livingstone assumed third base chores, moving incumbent Travis Fryman to shortstop as once again Alan Trammell battled injuries.
Center field was now being manned by another young player, switch-hitting Milt Cuyler, a speedburner but who was a question mark with the bat.
And of course there was Big Daddy, Cecil Fielder, who was the two-time defending AL RBI champion, and who had smacked 95 home runs in the two seasons after being brought back from exile in Japan.
As usual, the concerns about the Tigers centered around pitching.
The rotation was anchored by two elder statesmen---Bill Gullickson and Frank Tanana. Those two started 65 games, but the other 97 contests were divvied up among a bunch of pitchers, old and young. Most teams have three or four starters; the 1992 Tigers only had two that they could count on.
In fact, no less than 10 pitchers started the 97 games not begun by Gullickson and Tanana. The bullpen was suspect, too. Newcomer Les Lancaster, acquired from the Cubs, struggled, especially early in the season.
The Tigers got off to a slow start and never recovered. They dropped their first six games---all at home---and then were quickly 3-11. Every time the team moved to within striking distance of .500, they'd lose several in a row.
Three Tigers hit 30+ homers: Fielder (35); and C Mickey Tettleton and OF Rob Deer (32 each). Fryman slugged 20 homers as Trammell only played in 29 games.
Gullickson won 14 games, Tanana won 13, and that was pretty much it for pitching prowess.
The Tigers finished a dismal 75-87, in sixth place. It was a disappointing slide from the plus-.500 season of 1991.By GregEno
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- 1991 World Series, Alan Trammell, Bill Gullickson, Cecil Fielder, Dan Gladden, Detroit Tigers, Frank Tanana, Les Lancaster, Mickey Tettleton, Milt Cuyler, Rob Deer, Scott Livingstone, Travis Fryman