Is the Worst Behind Us?

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Matthew Merrifield, Sports Writer

Since they were swept out of the playoffs by Baltimore in 2014, nothing good has happened to the Tigers. They’ve only had one winning season in the last six years, and it’s been difficult to watch stars like Verlander, Scherzer and more have great success elsewhere while this franchise crashes to rock bottom. Fortunately, after good drafting and the development of prospects, the Tigers are finally showing signs of life.

There is still lots of work to be done, but the team is becoming watchable. Players like Casey Mize and Akil Baddoo are becoming must watch prospects and appear to be the future of this team. There are also players who were thought to be lost causes and are now leading the team on their current hot streak. Pitcher Michael Fulmer was the Rookie of the Year in 2016, but injuries lead him to years of struggle. However, he has been moved to the bullpen where he’s been perfect in a all four of the save opportunities he’s had so far and looks like his 2016 form. Also starting pitcher Matt Boyd had one of the worst ERA in baseball last season, but is now one of the top pitchers in the A.L. and is leading a formidable rotation for the Tigers. The bullpen which has been a sore spot for Detroit for as long as I can remember is now starting to become a strength for the team.

Offensive inconsistencies are the main reason for their struggles this season as the Tigers are last in the A.L. in runs scored. However, top prospects Spencer Torkelson and Riley Greene have impressed in the minors this year and could become the core of the Tigers lineup for years to come.

The Tigers currently sit at 18-27 and are likely going to miss the playoffs yet again, but if you sit down and watch them play, you can see the improvements that are being made. With three of the top 20 prospects in baseball still down in the minors and the 3rd pick in this year’s draft, it appears that brighter days are close for the Tigers.