Detroit Tigers clawing their way through the AL Central standings

Jim Leyland talks with Detroit Tigers president of baseball operations Scott Harris during Spring Training
Jim Leyland talks with Detroit Tigers president of baseball operations Scott Harris during Spring Training / Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK

What to make of the Detroit Tigers surge to second place?

The Detroit Tigers picked up a win over the Cleveland Guardians on Monday and are 16-18, holding second place in the American League (AL) Central Division. Quite the turnaround when the season started feeling like the team was going to struggle even to find a win or two along the way.

But now the Detroit Tigers are clawing and fighting, looking like a much-different ball club with a 6-1 record in the month of May. It's an impressive turnaround for the Tigers, and it must leave fans a little confused about what to think.

The overreactions to start the season were aplenty, there were some optimists, and now it seems a bit confusing to look at the AL Central standings and see the Tigers holding down that no.2 spot, being just three games behind the Twins, who have 19 wins in first place.

Heck, it does not feel like Jim Leyland has the boys buzzing, and they are cruising toward a postseason appearance, but the fact they are scuffling in the standings and are on a roll right now is something in itself.

Like I mentioned early on, it's confusing. Early on, it felt like the only real highlight to start the season was that the team will end up with a top talent when the 2023 MLB Draft rolls around, with lots of talent that will be available with the third overall pick.

Heck, recently, I wrote a piece about the Tigers going out and trading Eduardo Rodriguez since he has been so hot as of late with his recent success. The piece hinted at getting whatever the Tigers can for the ace before it's too late.

The team's in second, part of the Tigers faithful is going to jump the gun that one run and hot stretch could get them back into a better spot as the season continues. It's not to say their one run of wins away from competing, but they could very well change the narrative if their hot start to May continues.

It's crazy to look at the Tigers' season and how it has gone so far. It's hard to sit on one side of the fence. Frankly, my hopes were low coming into the 2023 season, and they still are, but the way the Tigers have performed lately has me starting to "want" to buy in and think they are piecing things together.

There's still a long road to go and plenty of pieces that need to be upgraded and added, but the Tigers might be able to see some of their players settle in. But if they continue to do well and build upon this type of performance, there might just be something to be excited about.

Hopefully, the Tigers can just keep churning out some strong performances and look like they are making improvements on the individual level, which should likely translate to more wins in the long run.

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