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Sunday, May 16, 2021

The Detroit Tigers Should Be Better Than This By Now

The one thing we can say with certainty right now is that the Tigers are approaching a point where something’s gotta give. Whether you view the rebuild as starting in 2015 or ’17, we’re far enough in that we should be seeing glimmers of hope for the future, but instead the Tigers seem to be on track for another historically bad season, in a line of dismal, disheartening seasons. Were the franchise still under Mike Ilitch, it would be a good bet that there would be a midseason leadership change. In 2017, Dave Dombrowski was fired in early August as the team struggled through the latter part of summer. Al Avila has been given ample opportunity to prove himself at this juncture, and his job seems the likeliest to be in jeopardy.

What makes it difficult to put a target on Avila’s back, though, is the general sense of indifference from the team’s ownership. Chris Ilitch, for all his statements about wanting to win, has also been very much the opposite of his father in terms of how he approaches the franchise. Last year he said of the rebuild, “I know we are building this the right way. I know that because I lived it through the Red Wings years and I lived it at the beginning of this century with the Tigers. Now we are trying to do it again and I know we will do it again. We’re going to keep working away. Be patient, be disciplined and we’re going to get there.”

But the Tigers fans, and indeed its players, have been patient. They have waited, hoping to see something that might indicate a shift towards improvement and better days ahead. Instead what they’re seeing is a team with a .333 win percentage, at the bottom of their division yet again, and stumbling towards another worst-case scenario year. R.J. Anderson wrote about the fumbling rebuild this week as well, highlighting that it might be time for the team and its fans to start worrying. He’s not wrong. There’s only so much comfort fans can take from knowing there will be another first-round draft pick in it for the team.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 16, 2021 at 09:52 PM | 9 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: detroit tigers

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   1. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: May 16, 2021 at 10:15 PM (#6019064)
I think I heard their big pitching prospect in the minors is getting lit up, too. Something crazy like 8 homers surrendered in 12 innings.
   2. GregD Posted: May 16, 2021 at 11:05 PM (#6019065)
I’ve only seen their games against the as but the tigers looked like they have the chance to be fun bad like doldrums Cubs or something.
Comical errors, general incompetence. They weren’t just putting guys out there who played hard but weren’t that good. They were kind of hilarious, balls lost in the sun, silly throwing mistakes
   3. JL72 Posted: May 17, 2021 at 10:18 AM (#6019096)
The amazing thing is that as bad as Detroit haas been - and they have been awful - they are currently ahead of the Twins in the standings.

I doubt it will last, but small victories I guess.
   4. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 17, 2021 at 10:20 AM (#6019097)
I think I heard their big pitching prospect in the minors is getting lit up, too. Something crazy like 8 homers surrendered in 12 innings.

Yeah, Matt Manning is getting torched in AAA, Skubal is getting torched in MLB, and Casey Mize is mediocre.
   5. Walt Davis Posted: May 17, 2021 at 05:07 PM (#6019255)
A funny thing about rebuilds -- the draft picks are nice but success requires luck on picks, good trades, sometimes even a FA signing or two. Springer, Altuve and Keuchel were already in the Houston system before Luhnow took over. The Cubs hit a huge jackpot on the Arrieta trade (got Strop too), won big with Hendricks, landed Russell. The Cubs splashed some international money for Jimenez and Torres.

Even as sorry as the Cubs were when Theo took over, the Tigers might have been worse. They had no 1st round picks in 2011 and 2012. Their last 10 1st round picks (which includes some supplemental) have combined for about 3 WAR, all of it and more from reliever Corey Knebel (a #39 pick who I believe did most of his work elsewhere). Castellanos (11 WAR, 2010) is the only decent player they have drafted in the 1st round since Porcello in 2007.

Apparently the minors are nuts so far after the layoff but Spencer Torkelson is currently putting up a 146/321/171 line. If you are relying on a 20% BB rate (with a >30% K rate) to generate offense at A+ ...
   6. Walt Davis Posted: May 17, 2021 at 08:35 PM (#6019279)
As I continue to belabor the obvious:

The Cubs really got only one reward for sucking -- Kris Bryant. Schwarber and Happ have had their moments but were nothing special. The Cubs likely don't win the WS or have that nice run at/near the top of the ALC without Bryant but Bryant clearly is not close to the difference between a 65-win team and a 95-win team.

The Astros hit the jackpot twice with Correa and Bregman -- that was out of 3 #1s, a #2 and a #5 which is an awful lot of losses. (Kyle Tucker might end up being good too.) Still, the 2017-19 Astros averaged 104 wins suggesting they were about a 94-win team without those two guys.

High draft picks are great but, even if things break right, a couple of 100-loss seasons only add about 10 wins per season for 4-5 seasons down the road. You still need to figure out how to get to 85-90 wins without those guys.
   7. Astroenteritis Posted: May 17, 2021 at 09:15 PM (#6019294)
High draft picks are great but, even if things break right, a couple of 100-loss seasons only add about 10 wins per season for 4-5 seasons down the road. You still need to figure out how to get to 85-90 wins without those guys.

This is a really important point. Losing 100+ games didn't guarantee the Astros anything, nor will it for other teams. Organizations have to make a great many good decisions, and be lucky, to go from 100-loss seasons to 90+ win seasons in just a few years.
   8. Cooper Nielson Posted: May 18, 2021 at 06:44 AM (#6019345)
and Casey Mize is mediocre.

Mize seems to be coming around. He had a nice start against the Mariners (7.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 7 K) and he's now had four "quality starts" in a row.

He hasn't been dominant (only 34 K in 46.1 IP) and he still needs to cut his walks, but he seems to be making progress. He looks like he could at least become a solid #2 or #3 starter. Maybe that's not what you hope for from a #1 overall pick, but it's better than mediocre.
   9. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: May 18, 2021 at 07:06 AM (#6019347)
The Detroit Tigers Should Be Better Than This By Now

In other news, This Pandemic Should Be Over With By Now and It Would be Nice to Have a President Who Wasn't An A$$hole Nor a Walking Corpse

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