As the New Year approaches, the trend is to make resolutions for the upcoming year. The Detroit Tigers need to make a few, too. Let’s take a look a few of the resolutions that will help the Tigers succeed in 2016:
Eat Right and Exercise
May 30, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Detroit Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez (41) is greeted by first baseman Miguel Cabrera (24) an after hitting a three-run home run against the Seattle Mariners during the fifth inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Like many of us, the Tigers want to be healthier in 2016. The Tigers were crippled by injures to Justin Verlander, Anibal Sanchez, Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez in 2015. If these men stayed healthy in the first half of the season, the Tigers could have been buyers, not sellers at the trade deadline. If the Tigers stay healthy in 2016, they could once again make a run at a playoff spot and a championship.
Don’t Leave Your Friends Hanging
The Tigers were one of the worst teams in baseball in getting their runners home once they were on base. The Tigers were 23rd in run scoring percentage in baseball, while having the best batting average, second best OBP, sixth best slugging percentage, and third best OPS in baseball.
Players were performing at the plate, but not on the bases. The Tigers were the 2nd worst team in baseball in extra bases taken at 34% and hit into the most double plays in baseball with 152. This combined with their lack of successful steals led the Tigers to strand way too many runners in 2015.
Cut Down Thievery
The Tigers were 16th in baseball in steals in 2015. That should lead one to believe the Tigers should steal more, but the Tigers tried and failed. The Tigers were 27th in baseball with a 62% stolen base percentage. They were picked off 19 times, the third most in baseball. There is a point to aggression which Brad Ausmus has tried to bring to the Tigers, but when that aggression becomes pressed over-aggression, teams fail.
Jul 11, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Detroit Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez (41) reacts to his ejection from umpire Marty Foster as manager Brad Ausmus holds Martinez back in the fifth inning of the game with the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
Brad Ausmus was one of the kinds of overreactions in 2015. When Ausmus made a managerial error in 2015, the next day, he would make the complete opposite decision to either quell the naysayers or correct his mistake. He refused to pitch Joakim Soria for four outs one night, then trotted him out there for four outs the next night. He say the Tigers’ double play debacle which led to the reaction to steal too much which led to the numbers above. If Ausmus is good enough to manage this team, he needs to make the right decisions the first time and stand by them.
Defend their Home
When the Tigers were at their best, they defended Comerica Park. In 2015, they went 38-43 at home after winning 45 games at home in 2014 and at least 50 games at Comerica Park from 2009-2013. They may not win 50 games at home in 2015, but if they win 50 or come close to it, they will definitely be near the top of the AL Central once again.