|Let The Season Begin - The Detroit Tigers should be vastly improved in 1952. Injuries to key players led to a disappointing year in '51 when the Tigers finished at 73-81, 5th place in the American League. Manager Red Rolfe thinks '52 will be different and is counting on left-hander Hal Newhouser to overcome a sore arm and lead the pitching staff again. |
Newhouser who has won 191 games in his career with the Tigers was only 6-6 in 15 games last year. Injured several times in '51, outfielders Johnny Groth and fly hawk 'Hoot' Evers should recover and supply the Tigers with badly needed long ball power. The Tigers hit only 104 home runs in 1951.
Worth Watching For In 1952 - Right-handed starter Art Houtteman, the ace of 1950, will rejoin the club after a year in the U.S. National Defense Service. In '50, Houtteman chalked up 19 wins for the Tigers. Slugger Vic Wertz was the Tigers' big man in '51 with 27 homers and 94 RBIs. Wertz is proving to be a first magnitude outfield star. Virgil 'Fireball' Trucks led the club in wins in 1951 and finished at 13-8. He might prove to be the ace of the Tigers in '52.
Team Veterans - 33 year old Fred Hutchinson had an off-season and only was 10-10, but proved to be valuable both as a starter and reliever. Paul 'Dizzy' Trout ended with a fine 13-8 in '51 and could win 18 to 20 games this year. 3rd baseman George Kell hit .319 in '51, the 5th year in a row over .300. Kell is still the highest salaried player on the team, and rightly so.
Gerry Priddy has been the Tigers' 2nd baseman for 2 seasons and is regarded as one of the better fielders in the league. His stick work slumped a bit last season, but he's still a solid player. Pat Mullin hit .283 in 110 games in '51. Mullin, still frisky, has been a Tiger outfielder since '41.
Rookies For 1952 - The Tigers will be watching Russ Sullivan who played five late season games for the big club and got 5 hits in 7 at bats. Playing with the Toledo Mudhens, Sully hit .341 in 120 games with 88 RBIs.
Needs Improvement In 1952 - All eyes will focus on the Tigers' aging pitching staff, which is loaded with All-Stars of bygone years, most had off years due to arm injuries. Hal White, the great fireman of '50 was not too effective last year, due partly to recurrent arm miseries. It's hoped both White and starter Ted Gray can come to their previous pitching performances. Gray was the Tigers' workhorse in '51 but fell to 7-14, 4.07 ERA.
Shortstop Johnny Lipon will need to improve on his .265 batting, a big drop from '50 when he hit .293. Lipon still rates as one of the better fielders in the league. Manager Red Rolfe hopes catcher Myron Ginsberg, a rookie last year, will respond and be better than before. Ginsberg hit .260 in 102 games. Veteran catcher Bob Swift in 9th season with the Tigers is still a fine handler of pitchers. Outfielder Steve Souchock, tabbed a draft gem the previous winter, hit 11 homers in his first year will the team. All-in-all things are looking up for the Detroit Tigers for 1952, they should battle most of the year and if they stay healthy have a chance to go all the way to the top. Baseballhistorian.com Manager's Notebook 1952 - Spring Training!
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