Detroit Tigers' new sparkplug bat ignites an offensive firestorm

The Detroit Tigers have had a lot of struggles on offense this year and optioned outfielder Parker Meadows to Toledo on Tuesday. He was replaced on the roster by outfielder Ryan Vilade.
Outfielder Ryan Vilade poses for a photo during Detroit Tigers Photo Day.
Outfielder Ryan Vilade poses for a photo during Detroit Tigers Photo Day. / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

I have been abundantly clear that the Detroit Tigers cannot hit the ball this season. There have been very few hot spots in their lineup. One of the biggest glaring holes was Parker Meadows. Although he had been great in the field and on the base paths, he was hitting an abysmal .096 at the time of his demotion to Toledo on Tuesday.

Meadows was replaced on the roster Tuesday by hot-hitting Ryan Vilade, who made his Tigers debut on Tuesday night in Cleveland. Vilade is a 25-year-old rookie from Stillwater, Oklahoma. The 2017 second-round pick made his MLB debut for the Colorado Rockies in 2021 where he would play in just three games with the team, only recording a walk before finding the minors again.

On Tuesday manager AJ Hinch slotted Vilade into the seventh spot in the lineup and he took full advantage of the opportunity. Vilade collected his first major league hit in the third inning with a two-run single to left field. He followed that up with an RBI single to left in the seventh, scoring Jake Rogers for the first RBI of his career. Vilade finished 2-for-4 with three RBI in an 11-7 win for the Detroit Tigers over the Cleveland Guardians.

The win was also helped by Andy Ibanez, who went 4-for-4 with two home runs, four RBI, and four runs scored. This included a home run on the very first pitch of the game. Ibanez continues to be one of the stars of this Tigers lineup as he now rocks a .364 batting average despite spending time on the injured list earlier this season. Wenceel Perez, Matt Vierling, and Jake Rogers also logged multi-hit games.

The Detroit Tigers adjusted their lineup and it paid off with a win against Cleveland.

The Detroit Tigers have had a way of wasting great pitching performances this year, and AJ Hinch thought it was time to make some changes. Vilade, who was hitting .333 in Toledo at the time of his call-up, was just part of that. Riley Greene was moved into the cleanup spot, and Spencer Torkelson found himself near the bottom of the order, hitting sixth on Tuesday. It was nice to see Hinch take some time to craft a lineup he thought would flow better, even if it meant forgetting about the metrics that he loves.

Starter Kenta Maeda struggled yet again, giving up seven earned runs over just two innings, forcing the Tigers to use four relievers, including Tyler Holton for three innings and Alex Faedo for two. With a game Wednesday and those two arms likely unavailable, the team needs a strong start from right-hander Reese Olson in the rubber match of the series before their off day on Thursday.