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Detroit Tigers 2022 off-season grades have been passed out

Mar 21, 2022; Lakeland, Florida, USA; a general view of the stadium prior to a game featuring the Toronto Blue Jays and Detroit Tigers during spring training at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 21, 2022; Lakeland, Florida, USA; a general view of the stadium prior to a game featuring the Toronto Blue Jays and Detroit Tigers during spring training at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports /
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Tigers catcher Tucker Barnhart warms up before live batting practice during Detroit Tigers spring training on Monday, March 14, 2022, at TigerTown in Lakeland, Florida.Tigers1 /

The Detroit Tigers addressed more than just starting 9 and the starting rotation

The Detroit Tigers addressed their minor league pitching depth concerns with resigning starters in Wily Peralta, Drew Hutchison and Ricardo Pinto and adding arms like Chase Anderson, Markus Solbach and bullpen arms in Miguel Diaz (who looked impressive yesterday against Toronto) Jacob Barnes, Alec Powers, drafting Nick Kuzia in the Rule 5 draft and a few other moves that allowed them positional flexibilities.

Last season, when injuries hit the starting rotation, we saw the Tigers get creative with Peralta and Hutchison being called up, but it left both Toledo and Erie rather shorthanded. With that, however, we saw Beau Brieske finishing the year strong in Erie and it allowed Detroit to see what they had in their system from a depth perspective. They address that with arms that have some upside and others, who may be just minor league roster spots.

A case in point that is current is the injury to Kyle Funkhouser. He may miss time to start the season and instead of having one or two or maybe three choices to choose from last season, the Tigers can look at up to five arms to see who is a good fit.

Am I upset they did not get Carlos Correa? Not really, if I am being honest. It would’ve been great but, for all the hot takes on talk radio, the Detroit Tigers were “cheap” this off-season and the narrative that Mike Ilitch is “rolling in his grave” is just ridiculous. They made MOVES. Yes, are some of them fans dislike? Sure, but it allows them some flexibility to make changes again next season should they need to.

While I agree with Chris the Tigers may of panicked when they got Baez instead of Correa, the point is, they got an uprade with Javier, who may have a chip on his shoulder anyways for all the rankings they gave out at shortstop. In certain cases, he was not listed as a top 10 shortstop. 

The Tigers farm system may have a positional drop-off after Greene and Torkelson arrive in 2022 but as long as I have paid attention to the minor leagues, there are some interesting names in the system. They have drafted guys that national publications are talking about like Tanner Kohlhepp, Dylan Smith, Ty Madden, and Dillon Dingler.

The amount of sulking about the Tigers being so bad the last few years has been fair, but it’s one step at a time. They made a huge one this off-season. THEY ACTUALLY MADE MOVES. Rome wasn’t built in a day and yes, perhaps Al Avila likes the farm system too much not to give anyone up but the point I am trying to make is simple. They have the potential to make the playoffs with the upgrades they have under the new MLB playoff format and play over .500 baseball. Could even think to mutter those words two years ago? No.

While these are not player moves, they upgraded their player development staff, which is huge and continues the growth of a system that needs to start producing talent outside of just pitching.

What would’ve made my grade an “A” would’ve been a clever trade for a starter. That’s really it. Look what manager A.J Hinch did with the team he got last season. Now, he has more talent to use. It should be a fun watch.

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