The Tigers are an interesting parallel rebuild with the Royals. They began tearing things down before the Royals did, and they have more resources to build it back, but it will be fascinating to see how these two teams build with young talent. We could be seeing young pitchers Casey Mize facing Brady Singer for years. Spencer Torkelson vs. Nick Pratto. Riley Greene vs. Bobby Witt Jr.
2021 record: 77-85, 3rd place, 16 games back
2022 PECOTA projection: 67-95
ZIPS projection: 75-87
Manager: A.J. Hinch
Key additions: Javier Báez, Tucker Barnhart, Andrew Chafin, Miguel Pineda, Eduardo Rodríguez
Key losses: Derek Holland, Julio Teheran, José Ureña
The Tigers finished 11th in runs scored, but they had five regulars post an OPS+ over 100 - catcher Eric Haase, first baseman Jonathan Schoop, third baseman Jeimer Candelario, and outfielders Robbie Grossman and Akil Baddoo - all of whom will return this year. The middle infield was pretty brutal offensively last year, but the Tigers upgraded there by moving Schoop back to second base, replacing him with former #1 overall pick Torkelson, and signing free agent Javier Báez. Torkelson was a consensus top five prospect, and hit .267/.383/.552 with 30 home runs across three levels last year.
Top prospect Riley Greene is also expected to make his debut this year, but will miss the first few weeks with a fractured foot. Also a top five prospect, Greene hit .301/.387/.534 with 24 home runs across Double-A and Triple-A last year and is just 21 years old.
Detroit Tigers 2022 Expected Lineup
|LF Akil Baddoo (L)||461||13||.259||.330||.436||2.1|
|RF Robbie Grossman (S)||671||23||.239||.357||.415||2.9|
|SS Javier Báez (R)||547||31||.265||.319||.494||4.6|
|3B Jeimer Candelario (S)||626||16||.271||.351||.443||3.8|
|DH Miguel Cabrera (R)||526||15||.256||.316||.386||-0.5|
|2B Jonathan Schoop (R)||674||22||.278||.320||.435||2.0|
|CF Riley Greene (L)||0||0||-||-||-||-|
|1B Spencer Torkelson (R)||0||0||-||-||-||-|
|C Tucker Barnhart (S)||388||7||.247||.317||.368||0.2|
|C Eric Haase (R)||381||22||.231||.286||.459||1.9|
|IF Harold Castro (L)||339||3||.283||.310||.359||-0.1|
|OF Victor Reyes (S)||220||5||.258||.284||.416||0.1|
The Tigers had the third-youngest pitching staff in the big leagues last year, and finished ninth in the American League in ERA at 4.32. Casey Mize, Tarik Skubal, and Matt Manning are all age 25 years or younger, although they have had some mixed results so far. The Tigers signed Eduardo Rodriguez to a five-year, $77 million deal to head up the rotation. The 29-year old missed all of 2020 due to myocarditis after he contracted COVID-19, but returned with a solid season last year, and was a 6.1 rWAR pitcher as recently as 2019.
The Tigers had the third-worst ERA (4.50) and second-worst FIP (4.53), and most walks-per-nine (4.4) out of American League bullpens. The added free agent lefty Andrew Chafin with a two-year, $13 million deal to add some depth, but will be without right-hander Kyle Funkhouser for the first month of the season.
Detroit Tigers 2022 Expected Pitching Staff
|LHP Eduardo Rodriguez||4.74||3.32||157.2||10.6||2.7||1.9|
|RHP Casey Mize||3.71||4.71||150.1||7.1||2.5||3.2|
|LHP Tarik Skubal||4.34||5.09||149.1||9.9||2.8||1.7|
|RHP Matt Manning||5.80||4.62||85.1||6.0||3.5||-0.3|
|LHP Tyler Alexander||3.81||4.39||106.1||7.4||2.4||2.0|
|LHP Gregory Soto||3.39||4.14||63.2||10.7||5.7||1.4|
|RHP Michael Fulmer||2.97||3.46||69.2||9.4||2.6||1.9|
|LHP Andrew Chafin||1.83||2.98||68.2||8.4||2.5||2.9|
|RHP José Cisnero||3.65||4.13||61.2||9||4.5||0.3|
|RHP Joe Jiménez||5.96||5.22||45.1||11.3||6.9||-0.5|
The Tigers surprised a lot of observers by winning 77 games and finishing in third place. With their free agent acquisitions and two of the top prospects in the game joining the lineup, they could have their first winning season since 2016. That should put more pressure on the Royals to win more games, but it could also show the Royals that their rebuilding formula - a stable of young pitchers with some stud hitting prospects - is a path to success.
How many games will the Tigers win in 2022?
This poll is closed
More than 95
Fewer than 70