The Detroit Tigers are 5-7, but early signs suggest things may get worse.
Detroit Tigers Offensive Struggles
It’s too early to refer to anything as a “slump,” but the slower starts of the Tigers heart of the order are a slight cause for concern, or at least cause for questioning. While we’re not even a month into the 2022 season and the Tigers have only played a handful of games, the offense has been less than spectacular.
Many are quick to assume it’s directly linked to the shortened spring training, and this may very well be true, but there is a definite spark and competitive edge missing within the clubhouse.
Let’s see where the Tigers rank across the American League based on offensive categories, as of Thursday:
AVG .210 (11th)
OBP .304 (t6th)
H 79 (13th)
HR 6 (14th)
K% 24.4 (10th)
BB% 10.9 (2nd)
SB 1 (14th)
Those aren’t exciting numbers, and if we expand the sample to including the National League they look even worse. And it’s the veteran hitters who are raising some eyebrows, because they’re not producing at the plate. Jonathan Schoop is 5-for-45, Jeimer Candelario is 7-for-45 and Tucker Barnhart is 3-for-18, all relatively low batting averages. That’s not something you want when you need to rally for a win.
The Tigers are ranked 4th in the AL with 47 walks, but they need to take advantage of those opportunities to stay competitive. Looking back at Tuesday’s game against the New York Yankees, the Tigers totaled eight walks and went 0-for-6 with RISP, leaving ten on base. A slightly better outing on Wednesday saw them go 3-for-11 with RISP and leaving eight stranded.
It’s clear there’s a disconnect and players aren’t utilizing those walks to their advantage, putting pressure on team morale. While the team is starting off slow offensively, the veteran bats need to start making an impact.