In 2005, a season that began with so much promise for the Detroit Tigers, injuries to key players and a lack of consistency resulted in a fourth-place finish for a club that expected to contend for the American League Central title. It also led to the dismissal of former Detroit Tigers All-Star Alan Trammell as the team's skipper.
Dmitri Young got the year started off in impressive fashion, homering three times in an Opening Day blowout of the Royals. But the Detroit Tigers suffered a tough blow when slugger Magglio Ordonez, signed to a five-year, $75 million deal in the offseason, suffered a hernia in April that would keep him out until July. Injuries took their toll throughout the season as closer Troy Percival, shortstop Carlos Guillen and outfielder Rondell White also missed significant amounts of time. Catcher Ivan Rodriguez played valiantly though injuries, but he wasn't able to replicate his numbers from 2004.
Among the bright spots were Chris Shelton, who hit .299 with 18 homers after being called up, and Curtis Granderson, who took over the center field job with his strong defensive play and timely hitting. Newcomer Placido Polanco enjoyed a solid season and was named Tiger of the Year for his efforts, and Carlos Pena rebounded from a demotion in a big way. Craig Monroe (team-leading 89 RBIs) and Nook Logan (23 steals) also made big contributions, while Jeremy Bonderman showed in the first half why he's the Tigers' ace and Mike Maroth posted a 14-win season two years after losing 21 games.
Jim Leyland replaced Trammell as manager in October, two months before closer Todd Jones, who spent five seasons in Detroit from 1997-2001, signed a two-year deal with the Detroit Tigers. Veteran left-hander Kenny Rogers also joined the Detroit Tigers in late 2005, bringing 190 career wins and a 4.21 lifetime ERA to the club's 2006 rotation.