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Friday, June 17, 2022

An Historically Bad Offense Is Just One of the Tigers’ Problems

Collectively, these Tigers are hitting .221/.278/.318. Their slugging percentage is the majors’ worst by 18 points, and their 70 wRC+ the majors’ worst by nine points, while their batting average and on-base percentage are merely the AL’s second-worst behind Oakland. Their 31 homers is 15 fewer than any other team, and meanwhile, they’re in a virtual tie for the majors’ lowest walk rate (6.6%) and own the AL’s second-highest strikeout rate (24.3%)....

Some of what the Tigers have dealt with may be bad luck, sheer randomness, or a product of the deadened baseball. By Statcast, they own the majors’ largest gap between wOBA and xwOBA (-34 points), the fourth-largest gap between actual and expected batting average (-23 points), and are tied for the third-largest gap between actual and expected slugging percentage (-69 points). Even so, their .301 xwOBA and .387 xSLG represent major league worsts, and their 300-foot average fly ball distance is the shortest, 14 feet short of the major league average. In the words of James Brown, “People, it’s bad.”

Individually, just two of the 14 Tigers who have taken at least 55 plate appearances have a wRC+ of 100 or better, namely Harold Castro (142 PA, 119 wRC+) and Meadows (147 PA, 101 wRC+), neither of them full-timers due to their struggles hitting lefties. Castro, a 28-year-old superutilityman, entered the season with a wRC+ of 84 and has nearly tripled his previous barrel rate, from 3.0% to 8.8%. He’s ridden a combination of a 2.1% walk rate and a .343 BABIP to a .299/.312/.460 line while starting 12 games at third, 11 at shortstop, seven at first base, two in left field, and one at second base; the jack of all trades has also pitched twice, including on Wednesday. Meadows has split his time between the two outfield corners but missed 19 games in May and June due to a bout of vertigo and has struggled since returning to the point that he’s slipped below replacement level (-0.1 WAR).

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 17, 2022 at 10:59 AM | 22 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: tigers

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   1. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: June 17, 2022 at 02:11 PM (#6082495)
As horrific as the Cubs have been, seeing how the core trio of guys are "performing" thus far, it's not looking like such a bad thing that they moved them along/didn't bring them back.

Bryant, especially, is looking more like a guy who's just never going to be healthy enough to come close to replicating those initial seasons.
   2. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 17, 2022 at 02:21 PM (#6082500)
As horrific as the Cubs have been, seeing how the core trio of guys are "performing" thus far, it's not looking like such a bad thing that they moved them along/didn't bring them back.
That was pretty clear at the time. The trades were a harsh reality, but it was pretty obviously the right thing.
   3. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: June 17, 2022 at 02:39 PM (#6082503)
Yeah, but there was still some pie-in-the-sky thinking that maybe it wouldn't be horrible to try and bring at least one of these guys back.

Watching them get traded away was pretty crushing, but more from a sentimental perspective. It seemed pretty clear that even before the trade deadline, it was unlikely the Cubs were going to get deep into the playoffs again with that core of talent.
   4. Walt Davis Posted: June 17, 2022 at 04:26 PM (#6082541)
Rizzo's doing fine. He had a terrible May (580 OPS) but he regularly has a terrible month. But a recipe for disaster for Javy -- his K-rate is actually down a bit but nobody on in front of him, nobody behind him, his worst habits will come to the fore. I really hope he can get it back together, at least put up a 100 OPS+ the rest of the year. He was much too fun to watch to have it end with 6 years of this.
   5. donlock Posted: June 17, 2022 at 07:28 PM (#6082587)
You Cubs people stole the whole thread. Detroit people, please defend your team/city.
   6. BDC Posted: June 17, 2022 at 08:07 PM (#6082592)
Well, I'm at least following this Tigers series – does that count? They have scored one run in 11 innings against Texas so far, so the historically-bad-offense part is bearing out. But they were in a position to win with two out in the ninth last night and Gregory Soto (mentioned in TFA as a bright spot) blew the save. Already down 4-0 in the third tonight. OK, that's all I know.
   7. Cblau Posted: June 17, 2022 at 08:46 PM (#6082599)
Sure, the Tigers' offense is really bad, but on the other hand, their pitching isn't very good.
   8. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: June 17, 2022 at 09:20 PM (#6082607)
I guess it's now past the window of relevance for someone with keys to the site to post the item I submitted yesterday with the headline

Tigers unveil 21-man bullpen in loss to White Sox

after the game where they used not one, not two, but three position players as pitchers to finish a blowout loss. Apparently everyone on the active roster who isn't in the starting rotation is fair game to wind up on the mound at some point this year.
   9. Walt Davis Posted: June 17, 2022 at 09:57 PM (#6082618)
I think the only Tigers person here was recently bemoaning their pitching prospects injury history ... surely nobody wants to "defend" this team.
   10. Ron J Posted: June 17, 2022 at 10:52 PM (#6082635)
#7 And yet the Royals are worse. Helped along by giving 7 starts to a guy with a 9.10 ERA and 8 to someone with an 8.36. That's an awesome achievement. A relief pitcher with a 7.71 era has appeared 27 (EDIT: fixed mistake) times too.

TO be fair, probably all 3 of these guys are probably merely terrible (from what I can see none of them can throw a quality pitch for a strike) so there's some bad luck.

Still, I was wondering how a team could have a worse record than the Tigers and ... as much as I think continuing to play Carlos Santana is clear evidence of mailing in the season there's a real limit to how much damage this does.

   11. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: June 18, 2022 at 08:31 AM (#6082652)
You Cubs people stole the whole thread.

Typical. The Tigers are not only terrible, they're anonymous.

Detroit people, please defend your team/city.

Pass.
   12. bfan Posted: June 18, 2022 at 09:19 AM (#6082662)

Bryant, especially, is looking more like a guy who's just never going to be healthy enough to come close to replicating those initial seasons.


Bryant. How about Mr. Excitement and nifty slides and dancing around the bases, putting up a slash line of .192/.233/.293, over 207 plate appearances? Him so cool.
   13. Ron J Posted: June 18, 2022 at 10:37 AM (#6082667)
#11 Bagwell's kind of old right now. Still might help the offense and still might do a capable job at first if Tork were to be sent out for more seasoning.
   14. TJ Posted: June 18, 2022 at 01:06 PM (#6082684)
Tigers unveil 21-man bullpen in loss to White Sox

after the game where they used not one, not two, but three position players as pitchers to finish a blowout loss. Apparently everyone on the active roster who isn't in the starting rotation is fair game to wind up on the mound at some point this year.


Might as well since the whole team hits like pitchers anyway…
   15. Walt Davis Posted: June 18, 2022 at 05:31 PM (#6082717)
Don't pull Santana now, he's hot -- 344/475/500 in June.

Royals just look standard bad. Perez stopped his Bench impersonation, Merrifield is on the classic late-bloomer trajectory, Witt is interesting but has a sub-300 OBP, no good starting pitching. The problem is they look like a team in the first year of a rebuild (i.e. after the sale of all the vets but before any of the kids are ready) but haven't been competitive since 2017. On the "bright" side, they don't have any players that any other team wants all that much** so they should be just as "good" in Aug/Sept ... maybe better if they have some kids that are ready.

Cubs & A's look like teams in the first year of a rebuild but that's OK because they are. Montas and Laureano from the A's, Contreras from the Cubs and Castillo from the Reds are major trade targets. Tigers also have nobody any team would want other than some of the young'uns the Tigers won't be trading. (Seriously, look at their roster, is there one non-prospect player you'd want on your team for anything other than free?)

** Benintendi and Taylor can find homes easily enough but won't bring much return.
   16. cardsfanboy Posted: June 18, 2022 at 06:28 PM (#6082731)
(Seriously, look at their roster, is there one non-prospect player you'd want on your team for anything other than free?)


That is the thing, there is nothing there, their over paid veteran is literally the only player hitting worth a crap. And when you look at the active roster, everyone is old already. These aren't prospects. Outside of Spencer Torkelson, there is no future potential in their current lineup.
   17. Ron J Posted: June 18, 2022 at 07:28 PM (#6082742)
First thing I think about when I see weirdly low team OPS+ numbers is a massive change in park effects that hasn't been caught yet. Usually a hitter's park that for whatever reason has suddenly become a pitcher's park.

Not what's happening here. The Tigers are actually hitting worse on the road ( .199/.252/.291 ) than at home ( .233/.289/.329 ).

Some of that's probably luck (their road BABIP is low), and Tiger pitchers are doing a little better at home so it's not playing as an extreme park overall.

Still, best I can tell OPS+ might be slightly overrating the Tiger hitters right now. Which is remarkable.

   18. BDC Posted: June 18, 2022 at 09:07 PM (#6082748)
Well, the Tigers are averaging five runs per game in this Rangers series all of a sudden.
   19. My name is Votto, and I love to get Moppo Posted: June 18, 2022 at 10:17 PM (#6082764)
He's still only 22, but Torkelson has been horrible. The batting eye has been okay, but hard to do any damage when you're batting .178
   20. cardsfanboy Posted: June 18, 2022 at 10:40 PM (#6082768)
He's still only 22, but Torkelson has been horrible. The batting eye has been okay, but hard to do any damage when you're batting .178


Note I wasn't saying he was good or bad, just stating that he was the only player on the roster that potentially had growth.
   21. Cooper Nielson Posted: June 20, 2022 at 04:50 AM (#6082863)
Note I wasn't saying he was good or bad, just stating that he was the only player on the roster that potentially had growth.

They're now 2-0 in the Riley Greene Era!
   22. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: June 20, 2022 at 09:13 AM (#6082866)
Tigers last 2 games: 21 runs.
Tigers previous 13 games: 23 runs.

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