Hey Tigers, Where’s the Offense?
As of this writing (morning of May 26th), your Detroit Tigers are 18-30 and mired in last place in the American League Central Division.
And after watching a majority of games so far this season. One thing should be very obvious to everybody. They do not have enough hitters in the lineup to win consistently and it's hurting the long rebuild of this organization.
Look at the averages of the regulars. Only Jeimer Candelario and Robbie Grossman are hitting .250 or better at this point. Niko Goodrum (who should be playing 2nd base, not shortstop, IMO) is hitting only .231. Jonathan Schoop is at .218. Miguel Cabrera is only hitting .210. However, that's improvement after a .097 start in April. Willi Castro is at .199. And former regular Jacoby Jones was hitting so poorly (.170) that he was sent down to Toledo after Sunday's walk-off loss to Kansas City. The other averages of bit players aren't great, either. Here, check it out for yourself.
As for run differential (how many runs you score as opposed to how many you give up), they are a -62. That's the worst in the American League and second-worst in the majors. Only Pittsburgh has a worse run differential with a -79
The Tigers have addressed pitching in free agency (Jose Urena), trades (Matt Boyd, Daniel Norris, Michael Fulmer), and the draft (Casey Mize, Tarik Skubal). And that's good, that's not the biggest problem.
But they will not get to where they need to go until they address the offense. Top position prospects Riley Greene and Spencer Torkelson aren't ready yet (Greene is more advanced than Torkelson at this point). So they have to use trades or free agency to get some more bats.
IMO, fans have largely been patient with general manager Al Avila (pictured above) with the rebuild. But it will be four years into the rebuild on July 31st. They should be further along than they are right now. Teams like Kansas City, the Chicago White Sox, Toronto, and Tampa Bay are ahead of them in their rebuilds. Because of that, I sense that fans are getting impatient now.
If they don't get close to my preseason prediction of 76-86 by the end of the year, owner Chris Ilitch needs to take a look at Avila and evaluate if he's the right guy going forward. I'm a lot more skeptical than now than I was two years ago. And I don't like what I'm seeing in the batter's box right now.