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Loss Of Victor Martinez Is Only 'Bump In Road' For Detroit Tigers' Chances For AL Central Crown In 2012

Many saw it as a crippling blow for the Detroit Tigers when it was first announced that Victor Martinez was going to miss the 2012 season with an ACL injury earlier this week. The slugger was the second best hitter on the team in 2011, and that .330 average and 101 RBI are not easily replaced. Yet there's no reason to overreact to such news as every team must deal with adversity and injuries, and the Tigers are coming off of a AL Central division title and nice post-season run. They're a better team, in other words, than just one player -- no matter how good he is.

"Martinez’s absence certainly is not ideal, but that’s mostly because it will require the Tigers to commit two spots to the least-important position on the roster," writes Daniel Rathman. "The average American League DH batted .265/.340/.429 last season, and any of the aforementioned timeshare options should produce above that level for Detroit in 2012. This is not 'disastrous news' for the Tigers, as Jon Paul Morosi suggested. It’s a bump in the road—but not one that should prevent Detroit from winning its second consecutive division title."

Of course, other teams in the division like the Kansas City Royals will take any advantage that they can get. Certainly the loss of Martinez brings the Tigers down just a bit. The Royals, Twins, Indians and White Sox can only hope that they've made enough improvements to help make up the other difference while the Tigers search for answers to hold them off.