Detroit Tigers’ AJ Hinch, Al Avila speak after solid 2021 season

Detroit Free Press

The Detroit Tigers’ season is over, but it feels like the excitement surrounding the club is just beginning.

In AJ Hinch’s first season managing the Tigers, they turned out their best winning percentage in five years and played winning baseball for nearly half the season.

The Tigers (77-85) were projected to be among the majors’ worst teams, but won more games than they lost vs. teams with a winning record. A pitching staff decimated by injuries to its veterans leaned on impressive rookies Casey Mize, Tarik Skubal and Matt Manning while nearly forgotten Wily Peralta stormed back into the league with a 3.07 ERA over 18 starts (93 2/3 innings).

AJ Hinch didn’t know if he’d get another chance. Tigers sure glad he’s theirs ]

And even the offense, which was a bottom-five unit in the MLB for the first two months of the season, climbed closer to league average in runs and batting average.

Akil Baddoo and Jeimer Candelario established themselves as potential everyday players and Robbie Grossman and Jonathan Schoop provided excellent value on short-term contracts. The Tigers turned some heads when they chose to re-sign Schoop instead of trading him amid a fringe All-Star season.

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With that in mind, Hinch and general manager Al Avila spoke, likely for one of the final times this fall, to the media about 10 a.m. Tuesday:

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