The Detroit Tigers have some tough roster decisions ahead of them
The Detroit Tigers will go into the offseason with a lot of work to do to get this roster back in a competitive state. There are many players on this roster right now that won’t be here come Opening Day 2023.
That being said, there are some players on this roster that have a chance to stick around, even with the new regime. Scott Harris has talked about wanting to dominate the strike zone, and that philosophy could very well shape the Tigers roster going forward.
Guys that draw walks and limit strikeouts will lead the way. Pitchers that struggle to throw strikes could be on their way out. This piece will look at who could stay and who could go based on Harris’s strike zone domination mentality. Here are three players that could return next season, and two that are expendable under the Scott Harris regime.
3 players that could return: OF Akil Baddoo
The likelihood that Baddoo was straight up cut this offseason was always slim to begin with, as he is still just 23 years old and has showcased his potential before, but he probably has an even better chance to stick around that Harris is in charge.
Baddo has just a .548 OPS in 64 games this season, and his strikeout rate has jumped to over 30%, but his walk rate has increased to 10.8%, which is one percent higher than it was last season.
Though his chase rate has gone up significantly this season, his whiff rate is about the same. Pitchers have exploited his weakness against pitches on the outer half of the plate, specifically breaking balls and offspeed pitches, and he hasn’t been able to adjust.
It’s clear he still has a good eye at the plate. If they can get him back in the strike zone and get him to stop chasing pitches tailing away from him, maybe they can get 2021 Akil Baddoo back. He has been better this month, sporting an .808 OPS, but he still needs to get his swing back.