The Detroit Tigers are in the midst of a rebuild. Rebuilds can be painful for fans due to a lot of losing, but they are well worth it.
It’s no secret the this isn’t the year for the Detroit Tigers. They are currently last place in the AL Central and have the second-worst record in the entire MLB with only the Orioles trailing them. Winning only 29 games while losing 63 in mid-July can be very deflating for fans to watch. This is all part of the process, however, and it is important to stay optimistic about the Tigers’ future.
Rebuilding is necessary for future success
Take a look at the successful teams now and then compare them to who were contenders just five years ago in 2014. The Tigers, Orioles, Royals, and the Giants were all serious contenders. On the flip side, the Cubs, Astros, and even the Red Sox saw records below .500. The Cubs won the World Series in 2016, then the Astros won in 2017, and the Red Sox won in 2018. These teams were all in the process of rebuilding, while the Tigers, Orioles, and Royals were contenders.
The idea of rebuilding is simple: get young and talented prospects to grow into a strong core while having strong veteran leadership. The Cubs did this by getting young players like Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez, and Kris Bryant. They also acquired veteran leadership with postseason experience in players like Jon Lester and David Ross. The Astros and the Red Sox both went through similar processes.
This is what the Tigers are attempting to do right now. They currently have a solid young core, and a good farm system, which will help raise players so they are ready for future success. It is likely that they will make some trades before the deadline to acquire more young prospects to help them out. If all goes according to plan, the Tigers will start having winning seasons in a few years.
Why watch during the rebuild?
Losing is a natural part of rebuilding. In 2014, the Cubs finished the season 73-89 and missed the playoffs by a mile. They made the playoffs in 2015 and won the whole thing the very next year. While the Tigers probably aren’t within two years of winning, anything could happen, and fans need to stay optimistic about the future and continue supporting the team.
Expect to lose, and betake the small victories. The most exciting part of a rebuild isn’t winning games in a losing season, it’s seeing the young players develop. Nobody thought Christian Yelich would be an MVP caliber player when he was brought up in 2013 with Miami. The Tigers have a great young core with plenty of potential. Players like Casey Mize and Riley Greene are bound to have good careers. During the rebuild, celebrate the success of young potential stars.
As players start to develop, the club will begin to win more games and have better seasons. Watching this process from the start, and watching players grow with the team is a very rewarding feeling. Growing bonds with the players and seeing them succeed will make victory taste even sweeter.
The Detroit Tigers are going through a rough patch right now, but that is just the natural process of rebuilding into a championship team. Stay optimistic about the future of the club, and be sure to keep up with the young stars and celebrate their success. Watch the games with the mindset that Detroit will probably lose a lot, and celebrate the small victories.