There’s Actually Hope For The Detroit Tigers…Seriously!
With the emotional sendoff into retirement for the great Miguel Cabrera still fresh in our minds (BTW, wasn't that great??!!), it's easy to forget that the Detroit Tigers, in many people's minds, exceeded expectations in 2023.
The Tigers finished the season at 78-84, good for second place in the woeful American League Central. They finished nine games behind the division-champion Minnesota Twins. That was better than many fans and so-called experts thought they would do.
The Tigers were 35-17 over the rest of the AL Central, that's the best record inside the division of any of the five teams there. And they went 19-10 over their last 29 games (basically the last month of the season).
And for the first time in a decade, there's hope for a franchise that hasn't made the playoffs since 2014, hasn't won a playoff series since 2013, and hasn't won the World Series since 1984.
Oh yeah, and they haven't had a winning season since 2016.
And I know he took a lot of grief for some of the moves he's made (mostly deserved). But former executive Al Avila at least deserves some credit for this season. After all, he drafted Spencer Torkelson and Riley Greene, and he traded for Jake Rogers. Rogers is the last guy left on the team from the Justin Verlander trade of 2017.
And the trade of Gregory Soto and others to Philadelphia for Matt Vierling and others turned out to be a nice trade for new team president Scott Harris.
But here are some reasons why there is hope in 2024, led by the guy you see above, Spencer Torkelson: