The Detroit Tigers‘ 2022 collapse is puzzling to everyone around baseball, especially their fans. The team certainly has not delivered on their promise of being better with the possibility of contending for a playoff spot. They fell apart even faster than previous seasons during their long rebuild, and it seems that no one can really figure out why it happened this season.
General Manager Let Go
The Detroit Tigers’ 2022 collapse cost executive vice-president and general manager Al Avila his job. Avila had been in a front-office role with the organization since 2002. He held the VP and GM position from August 2015 when he took over from Dave Dombrowski. A replacement for Avila has not been named as of this writing.
The rebuild was supposed to be over. However, 2022 has turned into another disaster. Right now, the team is 32 games below .500. One reason is their hitting, which was to be their strong point. Hitting started off the season slow never recovered. You’re not going to win many games with hitters struggling all season long.
Their best hitter is hitting just .271. More than half the Tigers’ starting lineup is underperforming at an alarming rate. The team has been in the bottom-five in average and hitters striking out. They are last in home runs, RBI, total bases, and on-base-percentage.
Adding to the problem, pitching and fielding woes. Pitching hasn’t done them any favors. Tigers’ pitching is in the bottom-five in quality starts, rarely lasting past the fifth inning. They are in the bottom for strikeouts against hitters.
On top of that, even their fielding has struggled with errors, total chances putouts, and fielding percentage. It’s hard to win when your team is hit with poor hitting, fielding, and pitching all at the same time.
Injuries Must be Mentioned
The Detroit Tigers 2022 collapse is puzzling, but injuries certainly have not made the matters any easier. They’re a big part of the team’s decline. The Tigers have faced more starting pitching hardship than any other team in major league baseball. Matt Manning’s multiple injuries have kept him from the team for three months. Casey Mize is out after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Michael Pineda missed most of the first half. Kyle Funkhouser, Rony Garcia, Tarik Skubal, and Spencer Turnbull are all out for the season.
As for as everyday players, injuries have ravaged them as well. Jonathan Schoop has battled an ankle injury. Jake Rogers has an elbow problem. Austin Meadows was just placed on the IL and will miss the rest of the season. He acknowledged this past Friday in a personal note posted to his social media accounts that his mental health struggles are delaying his return to the field. Injuries are part of the game, but when they hit core players around the same time, it can be challenging to overcome.
Nobody is giving up on former number one overall pick Spencer Torkelson, but his rookie campaign has been dreadful. He was not getting on base, not hitting for power, and even struggled with adjusting to being an everyday player. He was hitting just .197 over 83 games and was optioned back to Triple-A Toledo in mid-July to work on his approach to hitting.
Do Not Lose Interest Just Yet
If you are among the fans rapidly losing interest in the Detroit Tigers, who can blame you? Everything that could go wrong this season has gone wrong. But you have to ask is there any hope for the future? Is this season just a speed bump they will overcome next year?
We know fans do not want to hear wait until next year, but the tide can turn in a hurry for major league baseball franchises. Don’t give up hope on this team getting back to winning just yet. New leadership is coming. Watch how the team plays out the remainder of the season. Look to see who replaces Avila. While in for another rebuild or at least a retool, new leadership could breathe new life into the team. The team has good veterans and some talented prospects and could surprise everyone next season.
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