It's amazing how quickly things started to go south for the Tigers this year. Yesterday, Cameron Maybin took a Luis Severino fastball off of his left wrist in his first plate appearance of the spring. Today, the Tigers announced he'll miss 4-6 weeks with a non-displaced fracture.
The Tigers traded for Maybin this offseason, sending Ian Krol and Gabe Speier to the Braves to get their new starting center fielder. Once considered a phenom in the Tigers' system, Maybin returned after a almost a decade of relative disappointment caused by slow development and injuries. The Tigers were counting on him to be worth at least a win or more above replacement in center field in 2016 as they try to rebound from last year's debacle.
With Maybin out, and as he works himself back into shape, Anthony Gose is the odds on favorite to get his playing time. Gose, 25, started 125 games in center field last year for the Tigers, hitting .254/.321/.367, a 91 OPS+, with 23 stolen bases in 34 chances. His defense is not considered a huge asset. Still, he's not a huge dropoff from what the Tigers were likely to get out of Maybin. Gose was a lock to make the club out of Spring Training, but now Nate Schierholtz, Tyler Collins, or Steven Moya will also make the trip north as a fourth or fifth outfielder.
This injury does, however, highlight that the Tigers' lack of depth. While better than last year, aside from Maybin to Gose, the dropoff from the Tigers' starters to their replacements is huge, and potentially a season killer for a team that spent like a contender this offseason on Justin Upton, Jordan Zimmermann, Francisco Rodriguez, and Mark Lowe. The Tigers simply don't have a lot of room for error in 2016, and this is a bad way to start off the exhibition season. If they're smart, they'll cover everybody else in bubble wrap until April 5.