Is It Too Soon To Give Up On The Detroit Tigers?
Okay, maybe my headline needs some rewording–let me try again.
This Season Is Over For The Tigers. But Is It Too Soon To Give Up On Their Rebuild?
Okay, that one’s a bit better. I might start doing this more often, writing out subheadlines that better express what I’m going to write about in my story. I would just make my subheadline the real headline but with SEO and such that becomes such a pain in the rear. Anyway, that’s enough headline talk. Today, I’m focusing on one of the worst teams in the league: The Detroit Tigers.
The Tigers just fired their General Manger, Al Avila, on Wednesday, ending his 22-year career working for the franchise in various roles. The news was not surprising–the Tigers have not only been one of the worst teams in the league this year, but they’ve been one of the worst teams in baseball for the last decade.
Since 2012, when the Tigers lost in the World Series, they have made it to the playoffs three times (2012, 2013, 2014). The cumulative Tigers record in that time is 706-807, and they’ve had six losing seasons (and will make that seven once this season concludes).
After the 2012 season, the Tigers made it to the postseason the following two years. But after that, they fell into a bit of a deep rut, and started their rebuild in 2017 by trading star pitcher Justin Verlander to the Astros for, what turned out to be, a bag of balls. In return for one of the best pitchers of the century, the Tigers got Daz Cameron, Jake Rogers, and Franklin Perez. Of the three, Daz Cameron is the only one currently on the active roster. Perez had been released after it was announced he needed season ending surgery, and Rogers played only 38 games in 2021, hitting .239 with 6 HR and 17 RBI.
Things started to look up for the Tigers in 2021, after they won 77 games (which was the most wins the organization had seen since 2014). So, the Tigers did the only thing that made sense, and they went for it. In the 2021 offseason, they acquired Eduardo Rodriguez, Javier Baez, Andrew Chafin, and Michael Pineda. These were some huge additions for the franchise, who already had one of the best farm systems in the league.
However, what happened next was…well…disaster. The Tigers are on pace to lose over 100 games this season, and everyone they acquired in the offseason is underperforming (except for Chafin).
They did manage to call up some of their top prospects, Spencer Torkelson and Riley Greene, but neither have really popped onto the scene as much as they’d hoped. So, the Tigers are kind of back to where they started–rock bottom. But, is it too soon to call it quits? I think so.
Both Riley Greene and Spencer Torkleson haven’t shown star potential yet, but I think we have to remember that they’re both still YOUNG. We’ve gotten so spoiled by young players that blast onto the scene and rake from the start (Acuna, Soto, etc.) that I feel like we’ve forgotten how rookies really are supposed to act when they get called up. We also have to remember that a lot of their young pitchers are injured: Casey Mize, Tarik Skubal, and Matt Manning, just to name a few.
Listen, I’m not saying that the Tigers are GOOD–they’re not even decent. They are indeed bad. But, given their prospects, I feel like they’re at least in an okay position.