The Detroit Tigers Need an Outfield Reboot

The Comerica Park scoreboard in the middle of the sixth inning of Verlander's start on June 14, 2011. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
The Comerica Park scoreboard in the middle of the sixth inning of Verlander's start on June 14, 2011. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /
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Detroit Tigers
DETROIT, MI – SEPTEMBER 19: Victor Reyes #22 of the Detroit Tigers bats during the game against the Cleveland Indians at Comerica Park on September 19, 2020 in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers defeated the Indians 5-2. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

Victor Reyes:

The chickens have come home to roost and the bubble that seemed like it was going to defy bursting forever has finally popped. Starting off 2021 with a slash line .133/.152/.244 and an OPS+12, and just 1 walk. His BABIP that we knew was unsustainable from the past has come crashing down the season to .156, which would indicate some improvement could be on the horizon from this horrifying start to 2021, but he is back to hitting the ball more softly (30.3 hard-hit %) like his 2019 improbable season (31.6%) than last season’s 41.4%.

Bottom line, he doesn’t walk and hits a lot of weak fly balls, with his groundball rate decreasing (47.1% to 36.4%) but turning into more pop-ups and routine fly balls. He should see some improvement in his performance with continued at-bats but does he deserve the at-bats and is he really going to be a meaningful player?

The Solution:

Detroit Tigers
Mar 28, 2021: Detroit Tigers designated hitter Nomar Mazara hits a two-run home run: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports /

Put Victor Reyes on the bus to Toledo as soon as Nomar Mazara is ready to return, which is projected to be around May 9th. It is totally reasonable to expect Mazara to give us around league average production, think something along the lines of .250/.300/.450, while hitting 15-20 balls over the fence. If he does more and taps into some of the upsides that once made him a hot prospect with the Texas Rangers so be it, but if not it is still way more than Victor Reyes has to offer. He is at best a 4th outfielder in an organization full of four A outfielders

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