As it sits right now, the Detroit Tigers have a minuscule chance of making any postseason run. That does not take away from the exciting season this roster has had so far. As it currently stands, the Tigers are sitting in 3rd place in the AL Central, four games below .500. Who would have thought that this roster would have a chance to finish out the season with a .500 record.
I could go onto bash Al Avila or Chris Ilitch but the local media has already done that plenty this season. I am critical but I do not beat a dead horse like some media outlets in Detroit. Instead for this season the positives have outweighed the negatives.
Young Core is Shaping Up
The state of this team is clear, rebuild. This roster is made up of majority young guys with a sprinkle of some aging vets. The young core includes Akil Baddoo, Casey Mize, Tarik Skubal, Derek Hill and Gregory Soto. All of these players mentioned have been producing which is a good sight to see.
Baddoo has been putting up rookie of the year numbers and has the league on notice. He is a competent fielder with good pop in his bat. At only 22 years old, Baddoo has a lot of promise to be the future of this organization.
Along with Baddoo, the Tigers have found a diamond in the rough with Eric Haase. Haase has been performing better than we could have imagined this season and has filled a big hole at the catcher position.
With this starting rotation shaping up the Tigers know what they have. Young rookies that can, with time, make this rotation elite in the future. Casey Mize has proven he can get it done but has shown struggles as of late. Tarik Skubal is leading the team in wins at eight. Skubal through 23 games has a 4.1 ERA with 127 strikeouts.
The Tigers bullpen has been a big surprise this season. Most notable is Gregory Soto, the Tigers closing pitcher. Starting off the season Soto had a big issue with his control and has since seemed to improve it. Soto in 47 innings has posted a 2.85 ERA, 60 strikeouts and 14 saves. Soto has proved that he can handle the pressure of being the teams closing pitcher.
In order to develop the young guys on this roster there has to be some sort of leadership. There are many different vets on this roster that have provided just that.
Miguel Cabrera is the first vet that comes to mind. At 38 years old, the media and myself did not expect much from Cabrera this season. Boy was everyone wrong. After a horrendous start to the season, Cabrera got hot. Cabrera posted a .172 batting average in April and May, simply awful by the 38 year-old. Since June 1st, Cabrera has significantly boosted is batting average to a whopping .305. On top of the hitting improvements, Miggy is chasing 500 home runs, currently sitting at 499.
Not only has Miggy contributed as of late to the teams success as of late but so has Jonathan Schoop, Jeimer Candelario and Robbie Grossman.
The current state of the team is fun and exciting to watch. The organization has some work to do in the offseason but time will tell.