Through the first 6 games of the season the Detroit Tigers sit at 2-4. Not a great start by any means. But it is a good start for a young team in a rebuild that soon could start seeing the benefits of patience, savvy roster construction, and strong player development.
Game 1, a 5-4 walk-off win against the reigning AL Central champs gave a glimpse in to the impact that patience and proper roster construction can have on a team starting at rock bottom. Eric Haase a 29-year-old catcher/designated hitter that has been in the farm system for the tigers hit a homerun that started the comeback in the bottom of the 9th highlighting the patience and development that the Tigers have had in their rebuild. Newly acquired Austin Meadows tripled late in the game showing big time grit. The most exciting and enticing part of this first Tigers win was Javier Baez having the walk off hit in his very first game with the club. Spencer Torkelson, the former 1st overall pick, showed that he is more than just a walking extra base hit as he flashed exceptional defensive ability on multiple plays. When Reilly Greene, another first round pick and top prospect, returns from a foot injury the Tigers look to be in contention for at the very least a shot at the AL Central crown.
Since that game we’ve seen similarities to the Tigers teams that have not been in contention for some time. Pitching has been an issue as in the past. In all but one game Detroit has allowed 5 or more runs. Casey Mize, yet another number 1 overall pick, hasn’t started strong but given sheer talent it’s within reason that he will round into some semblance of what his potential suggests by years end.
Excitement is abuzz over this young Tigers team. Yet, a familiar face who has led his team to much success is somehow almost flying under the radar. Miguel Cabrera is set to become just the 7th member of the 3000 hits and 500 home runs club. This achievement from one of only 10 Triple Crown winners is something that is truly once in a generation special. In my opinion, Miguel Cabrera is arguably the greatest right-handed hitter of all time and the perfect example of how to achieve and maintain success for this young budding team.
With the franchise seeing a small bit of light at the end of the tunnel I expect the city of Detroit to begin to rally around this team and prove once more that Detroit is a baseball city.