Detroit Tigers first half, mercifully, comes to close with game vs. Guardians postponed

Detroit Free Press

When it rains, it pours for the Detroit Tigers — literally, on Sunday.

The first half of the Tigers’ disappointing season ended with the final contest of four-game set against the Cleveland Guardians officially postponed.

The club announced it will be moved to Aug. 15 as part of a straight doubleheader starting at 3:10 p.m. at Progressive Field in Cleveland.

BREAKING: Tigers send 2020 No. 1 overall pick Spencer Torkelson to Triple-A Toledo

The Tigers (37-55) end the first half of the season 12½ games back of the Minnesota Twins in the American League Central Division and a game ahead of the Kansas City Royals, who are in the Central cellar.

After falling to 24-40 on June 17, the Tigers made a push over the next three weeks, going 12-7 in the first 19 games of the Riley Greene era, which began with his callup on June 18.

However, the Tigers were not able to build on that stretch, which included a six-game winning streak — the longest of the year — and lost eight of nine games before the All-Star break.

A STEP TOWARD STARDOM: What Tigers’ Riley Greene showed over 2 games in Cleveland

NEED MORE RESULTS: A decade of Tigers’ MLB drafts haven’t resulted in many stars at big-league level

Detroit ‘s loss on Saturday in Cleveland dropped the club to an MLB-worst 14-31 away from home.

Sunday night may bring some hope for the future, with the Tigers picking at No. 12 in the MLB draft beginning at 7 p.m.

The Tigers’ first half included injuries to four-fifths of the Opening Day rotation, with first-round picks Casey Mize (Tommy John surgery) and Matt Manning (shoulder soreness and biceps tendinitis) combining for four starts and 18 total innings.

Michael Pineda (broken finger) and Tyler Alexander (elbow sprain) went on the injured list and have returned, and Eduardo Rodriguez was placed on the 15-day IL with a left ribcage sprain at the end of May.

He was slated to come back in mid-June, and all signs pointed to him returning to the rotation after a dominant start in Toledo, but did not report back to the Tigers. Instead, he was placed on the restricted list — with reported marital issues — and the club has not heard from its $77 million pitcher since.

The bullpen has been a positive for the Tigers, entering Sunday with the third-best ERA (3.08) in the majors. Even that has been subject to injuries. Right-hander Kyle Funkhouser has missed all of 2022 with a lat injury, and righty Jose Cisnero suffered multiple setbacks as he rehabbed. Earlier this week, he was activated off the 60-day IL, only to go onto the bereavement list.

Stil, Michael Fulmer, Alex Lange and Joe Jimenez are all in the midst of apparent career years, and closer Gregory Soto was named to the All-Star Game.

With so many injuries, the Tigers have relied on young pitchers. Beau Brieske and Alex Faedo made their MLB debuts this season and have combined for 27 starts with varying degrees of success.

Brieske (3-6) has a 4.19 ERA with a 1.200 WHIP; Faedo (1-5) has a 5.53 ERA and 1.640 WHIP. Garrett Hill, Angel De Jesus and Elvin Rodriguez also made their debuts on the mound, but the most notable new players to wear the Old English “D” are in the field.

Greene and Spencer Torkelson the team’s top picks in 2019 and 2020, respectively, had very different starts to their career.

Torkelson made the big league roster out of spring training; he started 0-for-10 and was never able to get going. The No. 1 overall pick out of Arizona State was hitting .197 with five home runs, 21 RBIs, a .287 OBP and .577 OPS before being sent down to Triple-A Toledo on Sunday.

Greene would have made the team out of camp, but fractured his foot in the final week of spring training and missed the first two months of the year. From his arrival, he has been arguably the team’s best player, reaching base in 24 of 27 games, hitting .252 with a .702 OPS.

Kody Clemens also spent more than a month in the big leagues, playing in 25 games before he was optioned to Toledo last week.

The Tigers’ offense has been MLB’s worst, entering Sunday last in runs scored at 3.13 per game, 29th in on-base percentage (.286) and slugging percentage (.333), and 27th in batting average (.227).

Nearly every Tiger is struggling at the plate, starting with shortstop Javier Báez, haven’t lived up to their billing. Báez is hitting .213 with nine home runs, 35 RBIs and a .251 OBP — all on pace for the worst marks of his career in a full season.

Likewise, Robbie Grossman (.586 OPS), Jeimer Candelario (.570 OPS), Jonathan Schoop (.561 OPS), and Tucker Barnhart (.510 OPS) are all having  the worst offensive full seasons of their careers.

Veteran outfielder Austin Meadows, acquired just before the start of the season for prospect Isaac Paredes, has spent most of the season on the IL with various ailments; the 2019 All-Star has appeared in just 36 of the Tigers’ 92 games.

Only Greene, outfielder Victor Reyes (hitting .293 in 116 at-bats), Harold Castro (.726 OPS while playing multiple positions) and Miguel Cabrera have met or exceeded expectations. Cabrera, who recorded his 3,000th carerer hit on April 23 and is hitting .287, will join Soto in Los Angeles for the All-Star Game, making the AL squad as a special selection by MLB commissioner Rob Manfred.

Contact Tony Garcia at Follow him on twitter at @realtonygarcia.

Articles You May Like

Rangers 1, Tigers 0: Tigers Threaten But Do Not Win
Whitecaps hold off Great Lakes on a quiet night for the farm system
Series Preview: Detroit Tigers hit the road to face Minnesota Twins this weekend
Tigers 6, Twins 1: A satisfying series win
Sawyer Gipson-Long To Undergo Internal Brace Surgery

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *