Detroit Tigers: Doing nothing to fix the offense was not a good idea
The Detroit Tigers offense is still the worst in baseball, if you can believe it
The Detroit Tigers just got swept by the Baltimore Orioles in a series in which they scored three runs combined in three games. Their at-bats were pathetic. They still can't hit with runners in scoring position, going 2-for-17 on Sunday. This is still an anemic offense.
After having one of the worst offenses in franchise history a year ago, one would think the Tigers would do something—anything—to fix it. Technically, they did. They hired three new hitting coaches, which was necessary. Scott Coolbaugh needed to go. They also traded for Matt Vierling and Nick Maton, as well as prospect Justyn-Henry Malloy. But that was it—and it clearly wasn't enough.
The Tigers are averaging exactly three runs per game through 20 games this season. If the season ended today, that would be the fewest runs per game in franchise history. This is after a season in which they had the fourth-lowest runs per game in franchise history. Chris Ilitch and new president of baseball operations Scott Harris looked at that and said "run it back."
Vierling and Maton are both fine players that are struggling a bit right now. On a good team, they would be depth pieces like they were with the Phillies. But on a team like the Tigers? They're starting because they have nobody else—and that's by choice.
They could have gone out and signed major-league caliber hitters for not a ton of money. Adam Duvall may have gotten hurt, but he signed with the Red Sox on a two-year, $14 million deal. He was off a to scorching start before the injury.
Infield options were admittedly scarce, but someone I wrote about recently was Brian Anderson, who's off to a great start with the Brewers. He's got four homers, a 12% walk rate, and a 113 wRC+ so far this year. The Brew Crew got him for $2.5 million on a one-year deal.
I would have loved it if Tigers went out and signed Carlos Correa, Xander Bogaerts, or Trea Turner, but it's pretty clear Ilitch doesn't want another 10+ year contract. That's fine, but what about Masataka Yoshida on a five-year deal out of Japan? His hitting numbers aren't great so far, but since Harris wants to control the strike zone, he would have been a perfect fit. He was known for his elite plate discipline in the NPB, and that was carried over to MLB.
It's the lack of effort to improve a 66-win team that has myself and other fans so upset. They could have went out and signed a few free agent hitters to at least make the team somewhat competitive, but they simply chose not to.
Fans are fed up. They want competitive baseball in this city again. Scott Harris better figure something out quickly, because this is getting ridiculous.