Detroit Tigers: Did management underestimate this year’s club?
After splitting a four-game set with the Royals, the Detroit Tigers are in third place in the American League Central Division. The Tigers sport a 9-11 record. The Tiger brass has declared that the team is rebuilding and have traded away most of their stars. Did management accurately assess this years team?
After failing to reach the playoffs in 2017, the Detroit Tigers decided to clean house. The team traded away multiple all-star type players. Long time Detroit heroes were sent packing in exchange for prospects.
While the core of past Tiger teams were no longer in Detroit, very good players remained.
New field management
After being named as the 38th manager in Detroit Tiger history, Brad Ausmus spent four unsuccessful years with the team. While his managerial record was good, he did not lead the team to a championship.
On September 22, 2017, the Tigers decided not to extend Ausmus’ contract and declared he would not return in 2018. Detroit then signed successful manager Ron Gardenhire to lead the team.
Along with Gardenhire, the team hired multiple new coaches. The philosophy of coaching also changed.
The new coaches were “hands on” type instructors. With so many young players, the coaching staff became teachers.
Coaches such as Chris Bosio did not wait for spring training to begin. They immediately watched tapes and spotted things that could be improved. Improvements, apparently, have turned into success for many pitchers.
While many great player are no longer on this year’s roster, good players remain. After a slow star many players are starting to hit the ball.
Only a few days ago, the majority of the Detroit Tiger hitters were batting under the “Mendoza line” batting under .200. That is no longer true.
While no one is ripping the cover off the ball, the Tigers are doing enough to win.
A few months ago team General Manager Al Avila seemed to question whether any of the teams current members of the pitching staff would still be on the team when all of the highly touted young pitching prospect reached the major leagues.
But the Tigers appear to already have a highly touted pitching staff. Matthew Boyd, Michael Fulmer and Francisco Liriano are leading a staff that has kept the team in almost every contest.
The majority of the teams losses have been by two or fewer runs. The Detroit Tigers have the pitching strength to compete. Detroit’s weakness is hitting.
Detroit Tigers management has under estimated this year’s team potential. While Al Avila declared there will be no new additions to this year’s club, maybe there should be.
A power hitter, or two, might have changed losses into wins. Too many runners have been left in scoring position. As such, the Detroit Tigers are no scoring enough runs to win.
While the team is trying to cut payroll, a few million dollar additions might benefit the team and Tiger fans alike.
Clearly the Tiger brass underestimated this year’s team potential. Apparently, no one had the foresight to believe the young Tiger pitchers would come of age in 2018.
If Mike Illich was still at the helm, this year’s team undoubtedly would be in a different situation.