Changes Tigers should make to beat Texas in the ALCS
Now that they've dispatched the Yankees in five games, is it enough for the Tigers to take the same approach to the ALCS matchup against the Texas Rangers that they used in beating up the AL East champs? What issues came up in the Division Series that they need to address, and what changes are necessitated by their new opponent? Here's some changes the Tigers should make for the series against Texas.
The Tigers could also replace Dirks with veteran Carlos Guillen, whose strained calf kept him off the Division Series roster. Guillen batted just .232/.265/.368 in limited time and would probably be unable to play the field. A third option would be to add a 12th pitcher, although in-season trades don't leave much in the way of good choices. The Rangers' roster makes a third lefty unnecessary, and the right-handed options of David Pauley (7.23 ERA as a Tiger) or rookie Jacob Turner (8.53 ERA in three starts) aren't appetizing. Rhymes, who has some tactical value on a very slow team, would be the best selection for that last roster spot.
The Tigers have a front-loaded roster and are going to beat or not beat the Rangers based on what their stars do. Putting more of the ALCS in the hands of their best players, such as Verlander and Avila and Betemit, is their path to the World Series.