The 2023 MLB season is almost upon us. The Detroit Tigers will kick off their season on Thursday in Tampa against the Rays. Eduardo Rodriguez will start for the Tigers, while Shane McClanahan will go for the Tampa Bay Rays.
A new season of Detroit Tigers baseball brings us new storylines to monitor and follow. No matter your feelings towards the state of the Detroit Tigers organization, there is no shortage of exciting storylines to follow in 2023. Here’s our rankings of the most important ones:
With love from Lakeland. 💙
We celebrated Miggy's 16 springs and countless memories for fans across Central Florida before his final game at TigerTown. pic.twitter.com/sRLODw5DOR
For a lot of the established Detroit Tigers players, 2022 was a struggle. The three main players you can look to is Javier Baez, Eduardo Rogriguez and Austin Meadows. E-Rod and Baez were the two big free agent signings last year and Meadows was the big trade acquisition. They all struggled for their own reasons, but all have impressive track records making them prime bounce backs candidates in 2023.
As for other veterans on the roster looking to bounce back, you can turn to players like Jonathan Schoop, Matt Boyd and Michael Lorenzen. Boyd and Lorenzen, both free agent signings this offseason struggled with their health in 2022. Schoop had arguably the worst season of his career and will look to show he can be a contributing piece for the Tigers in 2023.
3. Which Young Pitchers Can Establish Themselves
The Detroit Tigers have a lot of intriguing young pitching within their organization. Beau Brieske, Mason Englert, Joey Wentz, Matt Manning and Alex Faedo are all young and looking to prove themselves. Matt Manning is the most well-known of the group as he was once a top 10 pick in the 2015 MLB Draft.
Mason Englert was a rule-five pick for the Tigers this year. He had a very strong spring and his ability to throw strikes makes him a good candidate to breakout in 2023. Beau Brieske made his MLB debut last year and has already added a couple miles an hour to his fastball this year. Then you have Joey Wentz, who was very strong down the stretch for the Tigers last year. Wentz is a good strike thrower with a solid cutter. His strong ending to last season combined with his promising 2023 spring training makes him an interesting young starter for Detroit in 2023 as well.
2. What Does Miguel Cabrera Have Left in the Tank?
In case you live under a rock, Miguel Cabrera will play his final major league season in 2023. It will be an emotional year for Tigers fans, as Cabrera is the face of the franchise and is one of the best hitters the organization has ever seen. Miggy did have a solid first half in 2022, before an injury severely hampered his production in the second half.
Cabrera will likely be a platoon player this season, getting most of his at-bats against lefties. While his home run days are over, Tigers fans are hoping he can find some of the pixie dust Albert Pujols had last season and give baseball fans a farewell to remember.
1. Can Spencer Torkelson & Riley Greene Breakthrough?
If the Detroit Tigers are going to compete in the future, Spencer Torkelson and Riley Greene will need to be at the forefront of it. Both are highly touted prospects whose rookie seasons did not go as planned. With some MLB reps under their belts, can 2023 be a breakthrough year for the sophomores?
Riley Greene had a 53% ground ball rate in 2022. If he can just get that down around 5%, his numbers will look a lot better in 2023. As for Torkelson, I think he will be a lot more comfortable in 2023. Both youngsters had inspiring spring trainings and will both be expected to play a major role in the Tigers offense. Like I said, if the Tigers are going anywhere in the future, these two will need to be a big part of it. Hopefully 2023 can be a huge step in the right direction for both of the young hitters and set the stage for their promising futures to come.
Thanks for reading and let us know what you are looking forward to this baseball season.
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