We continue looking at the 30 MLB teams as they head into the 2021 season. And on this piece, we examine The State of the Detroit Tigers.
And be sure to check out our corresponding video series on the State of the 30 MLB Franchises with our look at the Detroit Tigers.
Wilson Ramos Signing
The Detroit Tigers signing of Wilson Ramos was a smart move. By signing Ramos, the Tigers have a veteran backstop to help a team. A team that is likely not making a serious run at the postseason. Going into the 2021 season, Detroit will like find themselves struggling at the bottom of the AL Central. However, by adding Ramos, they give themselves a potential trade asset at the deadline along with a better than league average offensive catcher. It won’t be a guarantee that Ramos will be the Opening Day starting catcher, but he is the odds-on favorite.
Resigning Jonathan Schoop
Detroit wouldn’t make a ton of major moves this offseason, but one such move was resigning Jonathan Schoop. Schoop was a valuable player for Detroit in 2020. Across 44 games, Schoop would slash .278/.324/.475 leading to an OPS+ of 115. Jonathan is also an underrated defender at second base. The Tigers aren’t going to have much working for them in 2021, but Jonathan Schoop will be among the bright spots.
Signing Nomar Mazara
Nomar Mazara was once a highly-touted prospect in the Texas Rangers organization. However, injuries and ineffectiveness have veered his career off track slightly. The Tigers are bringing Mazara in after an abysmal 2020 campaign. And Detroit is hoping they can catch lightning in a bottle and revive the once-promising Nomar Mazara.
State of the Rotation
When diving into the Tigers rotation, there are some notable names to mention. Casey Mize, Daniel Norris, Michael Fulmer, and Matthew Boyd are names for the Tigers to build around. However, there are injury concerns with many of the Tigers’ starters. The biggest factor and key contributor for the Tigers will be the health of their rotation. If the starting pitching can remain healthy, they are likely to remain effective for the long run in 2021. We’re seeing the battle in Spring Training to determine how the rotation exactly shakes out. But one thing is clear the Tigers starting rotation will be a quietly good rotation. And likely the best part of the 2021 Tigers, if they can remain healthy.
State of the Bullpen
However, when it comes to the Detroit Tigers bullpen, there isn’t much notable praise to be made. And the bullpen is arguably the weakest spot on the Tigers 2021 roster. How the Tigers’ bullpen breaks down, they will need to hold any leads that’s the offense can potentially give them. As the American League Central will be a tough division. And if the Tigers want to win games, they will have to lock down any leads they get in 2021.
State of the Offense
Now, when it comes to getting leads, that will be another battle entirely. The Tigers’ offense isn’t the offense of old. There are more questions than answers in the Detroit lineup. Miguel Cabrera was once one of the most feared bats in Major League Baseball. However, Father Time and injuries have slowed down this Hall of Fame career. The aforementioned Ramos and Schoop will help the offense, but they won’t be able to carry the team for any real stretch of time. But there are young players that Tigers’ fans can get excited about. Players like Spencer Torkelson, Kody Clemens, Willi Castro, Victor Reyes, and Daz Cameron, just to name a few. If these players can grow and mature in the game, they can be some great players in the not-so-distant future.
State of the Franchise
The Detroit Tigers will find themselves at the bottom of the barrel in the AL Central. The Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox will battle for the tops spot. The Kansas City Royals will likely bring up third place in the division race. And that leaves the Cleveland Indians and the Detroit Tigers fighting to stay out of last place. And the Indians (in my opinion) have more firepower. Thus this leaves the Tigers in the cellar of the AL Central. But there are bright spots for Tigers’ fans that they can hold onto in 2021.