5 Detroit Tigers players that have been horrifically unlucky this season

The Tigers have some players who have had some rotten luck this season
Sep 15, 2023; Anaheim, California, USA; Detroit Tigers first baseman Spencer Torkelson (20) runs
Sep 15, 2023; Anaheim, California, USA; Detroit Tigers first baseman Spencer Torkelson (20) runs / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
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Spencer Torkelson

It is probably safe to say that Tigers fans are pretty disappointed with Spencer Torkelson so far. After picking him 1st overall in the 2020 draft, Tork has been fairly pedestrian in terms of his overall numbers in the big leagues so far. His 2023 season seems to have been a step forward, but it is hard to get too excited about a guy worth 1.5 fWAR while hitting .237 and being just an above average hitter who occasionally hits dingers and little more.

However, a deeper look shows that Torkelson may be closer to breaking out than you may think. While his actual wOBA sits at .331 and he is hitting .237, his expected wOBA is .356 and his xBA is .255. While neither of those numbers are particularly awesome, it does indicate some underperformance and bad luck. Tork has hit the ball hard at an elite rate this season and if he makes some small adjustments, he could be primed for a big year in 2024.

Tarik Skubal

Skubal is an obvious pick here if for no other reason being that he has had to deal with his fair share of injury issues this year. Fortunately, Skubal is back now after his lengthy rehab and overall results have been quite good with a 3.25 ERA while striking out nearly 11 batters per nine innings pitched in his 13 starts this season. Looking at his expected stats, he has been even better than that.

In 69.1 innings this season which is a decent sized sample, Skubal's FIP sits at 2.28 with an xFIP of 2.78 and an xERA of 2.61. Having a 3.25 ERA and 2.6 fWAR in just 13 starts is not bad whatsoever. However, Skubal's ability to miss bats and not give up walks this season gives him the profile of a bona fide ace instead of the just "very good pitcher" numbers that show up on the back of his baseball card.

Jake Rogers

The Tigers don't employ Jake Rogers for his bat as he a defensive wonder as a catcher. Rogers had a decent season at the plate last year, but expectations have remained relatively low for his offense. However, it sure seems like he has gotten a raw deal in 2023 when it comes to his batted ball luck.

In addition to having just a .268 average on batted balls in play (which is low even for a catcher), Rogers has significantly underperformed his xWOBA (.325 expected vs. .303 actual) and his xBA (.231 expected vs. .216 actual). A big jump in the number of ground balls he has hit is largely to blame, but Rogers generally hits the ball hard and, in theory, his luck should turn around if he keeps that up.