Tigers Lost Season is Over
The Tigers 2019 season is over, mercifully. It was worse than last season, and next season won’t be much better. Prices to go see a game probably won’t change much either. But, by having a worse season than any other team in baseball, they will get the top draft pick. Maybe they’ll find a kid who can hit above .200, or another great pitcher that fans won’t see for 5 more years. The Tigers finished the season 47-114, 53 ½ games behind the Twins in the Central Division.
To be fair, the Tigers should have been better, but injuries wiped out their starting pitching at the start of the season. Michael Fulmer was done before the season, and won’t be back until at least next July. Free agent newcomers Matt Moore and Tyson Ross were lost for the season after the first month or so.
Fifth starter Spencer Turnbull ended up being the team’s second best starter, and despite some nice innings, he ends the season with a 3-17 record. Jordan Zimmerman struggled with health again, and won just one game in 23 starts. Matthew Boyd won 9 games, but had an earned run average of 4.56 and coughed up 39 home runs, not exactly numbers for the ace of any staff.
Outside of Buck Farmer and traded former closer Shane Greene, the bullpen was terrible. The Tigers have a lot of pitching prospects, but we won’t see any of them at Comerica Park anytime soon. Once they’re brought up, the clock starts ticking on future free agency.
But the real problem with the 2019 season was a lack of hitting. Most of the lineup was hitting below the Mendoza Line (under.200), early in the season. On the last pitch of the season, the Tigers set a dubious record: 1595 strikeouts in a season.
Miguel Cabrera, who showed signs of life in the last few games of the season hit just .282 with 12 homers. He made $30 million this season, and has four more years on his contract.
Outfielder Victor Reyes hit .304 and showed he belongs in the big leagues. So did Harold Castro, who hit .291 and excelled at many positions, including center field and second base. Veteran Jordy Mercer came on strong to hit .270. Other than the traded outfielder Nicholas Castellanos, nobody else on the team hit above .250, and in a year where the league set the record for most homers, the Tigers’ showed no power.
Is there hope? Well, Chicago’s Tim Anderson won the American League batting title hit .335 after hitting just .240 last season. Maybe that’ll happen to a couple of Tiger hitters.
The Tigers will need to find two or three free agent starters and hope that they last longer than the last crop. But barring a couple of miracles, they’ll still have trouble scoring runs, and fans will have even more trouble staying interested. The best thing about the season ending is that we won’t have to listen to the broadcasters, coaches and team executives sugar coat this thing for at least five more months. It’s hard to be a Tiger fan. The last time they were this bad owner Mike Illich got out his checkbook. But Illich is gone, and nobody expects that to happen again.