Can we stop already with the Detroit Tigers are about to take off and challenge for a wild card berth?
The Tigers indeed had consecutive winning months. But it was by two games total. That is not a recipe for success, considering the early hole the Tigers dug themselves into. It is not a good baseball team.
It is a team still trying to figure things out. They’re a team that’s building for the future, not powering forward for a successful 2021.
Yet when you turn on talk radio or click onto the Internet, some local yahoo is trying to convince you that if things break just right and the schedule is easing up, the Tigers can make a run.
“We can beat anybody,” Tiger players gushed after recent success against nemesis Cleveland and the Chicago White Sox.
Unfortunately, they can also lose to anybody, as seen during a four-game sweep by the Minnesota Twins.
Despite that, there good news. The Tigers are third in a weak American League Central, a division where only one team, the White Sox (54-35), have consistently been above .500. Also, A.J. Hinch is a hell of a manager.
Here is the bad news. Or reality. How can the Tigers (40-51) make a serious run where they rank near the bottom in most offensive and defensive categories? They are 19th in runs scored, 18th in batting average, and 21st in OPS.
It’s even worse on the pitching side, where they rank 25th in WHIP, 24th in earned run average, and 23 rd in opposing batting average.
The climb to the top is daunting. The Detroit Tigers are 11.5 games out of a wild card berth.
Here is the tricky part.
They must leapfrog Seattle (48-43), the New York Yankees (46-43), Toronto (45-42), Cleveland (45-42), and the Los Angeles Angels (45-44) to get to the final wild-card spot held by Oakland (52-40).
The teams that stand between the Tigers and Oakland are all above .500 – a threshold the Tigers won’t achieve this season.
The Tigers are thinking about the future and building toward the future. While fans grow antsy in year six of the Al Avila rebuild, the Tigers GM calmly selected high school pitcher Jackson Jacob. This might be the right choice if he stays healthy. Some folks at Baseball America say he is the most likely pitcher in this year’s draft to win a Cy Young.
Avila stole a page from the Dave Dombrowski playbook and stockpiled power right arms, selecting University of Texas ace Tyler Madden later in the first round. Hopefully, the moves pay off by 2025.
The Tigers are not making a move this season towards the playoffs.
Follow Foster on Twitter at TerryFosterDet.