Tigers couldn't fulfill AJ Hinch’s simple birthday wish in pathetic fashion

The Tigers offense has been catastrophically bad in 2024, to AJ Hinch's dismay
Detroit Tigers manager A.J. Hinch on February 14, 2024, at the spring training facility in Lakeland,
Detroit Tigers manager A.J. Hinch on February 14, 2024, at the spring training facility in Lakeland, / Evan Petzold / USA TODAY NETWORK

Detroit Tigers manager AJ Hinch had a simple request for his birthday. He told reporters that he wanted the Tigers to score some runs. That's it. That simple. It's fair to assume that Hinch made the remark in jest but the way the team has been playing lately, he was probably only half kidding.

Unfortunately for Hinch, the Tigers failed to fulfill that wish, and did so in miserable fashion. They were shut out by the lowly Marlins on Wednesday afternoon, taking a 2-0 loss and falling under .500 for the first time all season.

It was the second day in a row that Hinch's Tigers were shut out by the Marlins, who had also dropped Tuesday's matchup 1-0 in 10 innings. The loss on Wednesday makes it four consecutive series losses for the Tigers, who have gone 3-9 in their last 12 games.

The Tigers are now all the way down to 3.91 runs scored per game, good for 22nd in baseball. Their .225 batting average is 25th in MLB and they're one of just 5 teams with an OBP under .300.

At the rate things are going, Hinch will be making the same birthday wish next year

The Tigers are still running out Javy Baez and his .422 OPS. He currently has an 18 wRC+, putting him at 82% worse than league average at the plate. Worse still is that Baez is under contract until 2028, with $98 million left on the deal. Any hope that the Tigers might be able to move his contract in a trade is rapidly deteriorating.

While he's still a strong base runner, Baez provides such little value elsewhere that it's tough to see how the Tigers can keep him around for the life of the deal. If he plays at this pace all year, they might be better off releasing him and just paying him the money to sit at home.

Unfortunately for Hinch and Tigers fans, Baez isn't the only problem. Colt Keith has failed to launch. The 22 year old got a 6-year contract worth $28 million without having ever played in the majors. He's currently hitting .171/.234/.197 with just 3 extra base hits in 128 plate appearances.

And while Keith looks like he belongs back at Triple-A, Spencer Torkelson is still struggling at the plate. Though he's reached base in 9 of his last 10 games, Torkelson still has an OBP well below .300 and isn't hitting for the kind of power that the Tigers need.

If the Tigers want to turn their season around, Scott Harris probably needs to make a move or two in order to add a viable hitter to the lineup. If they want to keep running out this group of hitters for the next few months, AJ Hinch is going to have a lot more to worry about than his birthday wishes not coming true.