Detroit Tigers Injuries and roster moves present concern for

Saturday, April 9, 2022
author picture Gerald Girard
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Detroit Tigers Injuries and Roster Moves Present Concern for 2020

Injuries and roster changes continue to plague the Tigers‚ but there's still plenty to be excited about in 2019. The Pitching staff has been a topic of controversy all season long‚ but Austin Meadows is expected to be ready to open the season. The emergence of Torkelson at first base might be the next stud in the system. The rest of the roster is still a bit in flux.

Pitching staff has been a source of controversy

The pitching staff of the Detroit Tigers has been a point of controversy this season. Two of their most prominent pitchers have not been able to pitch consistently. While the rotation is dependent on Matt Manning‚ the Tigers' bullpen is devoid of any consistent pitchers. The Tigers are relying on young players like Gregory Soto to fill in for struggling pitchers. The most recent controversies have centered on Jack Morris‚ a Hall of Fame pitcher and TV analyst for Tigers games. He recently apologized for making an offensive comment about Japanese pitcher Shohei Ohtani during a game. The comment came when play-by-play announcer Matt Shepard asked Morris about his strategy to face the Japanese pitching sensation. Morris apologized for using offensive pronunciations and said that he was sincerely sorry for his remarks.

Torkelson could be next stud at first base

If you haven't heard‚ Austin Martin could unseat Torkelson as the top overall hitter in 2020. The Vanderbilt product played third base as a sophomore and center field for the USA. While he'll likely play shortstop next season‚ his best fit might be second base. If that's the case‚ he'll hit regardless of position. The Tigers are working Spencer Torkelson at first base to make room for Jonathan Schoop and Javier Baez. Torkelson's versatility and athleticism are ideal for the position. He'll also create a formidable defensive infield alongside Jonathan Schoop and Jemer Candelario. The long-term future of Greene could be at corner outfield‚ as he's already shown he can play center field. The Tigers could pair him with Rob Grossman and Akil Baddoo. After the emergence of Miguel Cabrera‚ the Tigers have reloaded in other positions. They acquired talent from all over the country to supplement the top prospect at each position. Spencer Torkelson is now on the Opening Day roster and Riley Greene is just behind him. If Torkelson can hit like Cabrera‚ he could be the next stud at first base for the Tigers. A three-sport star at prep school in California‚ Torkelson went unselected in the MLB draft. He went on to play college ball for Arizona State‚ where he broke Barry Bonds' freshman home run record and hit for a mediocre average. The slugger had five steals in his first pro season. He also has elite walks and strikeout rates and is the first corner infielder drafted first overall in nearly two decades. As a coveted top-five draft pick‚ Torkelson's potential to be the next stud at first base is incredibly high. The Tigers have had a great run with him in college‚ and their pick of him is an excellent one. The Detroit Tigers have the top pick in the 2020 amateur draft‚ so this could be the right time for Torkelson to break through. If the Tigers can get a deal for Torkelson‚ he'll likely be a middle-order staple for the next few years. His speed is an issue‚ but he could be a valuable middle-order player for the next few seasons. His lack of speed limits him to being a middle-order stalwart‚ but his defense could help him stay healthy and produce in the middle of the order. While the Detroit Tigers have plenty of talent at first base‚ Torkelson is among the most exciting prospects available. He has been hailed as the best hitter in college history‚ with his batting average and power eclipsing those of other top first base prospects. Torkelson was the top pick in the June 2020 draft‚ and is already atop the prospect lists of many baseball publications.

Austin Meadows is expected to be ready for Opening Day

While the Tampa Bay Rays are still awaiting a clear answer on whether Austin Meadows will be ready for Opening Day‚ the player is optimistic. The former No. 9 overall draft pick will have a simulated start against Michael Pineda on Wednesday. If he's 100 percent healthy‚ Meadows should be ready to play on the Opening Day against the Chicago White Sox. The team is hoping that he can avoid a platoon role. The team had hoped to have Austin Meadows available for Opening Day against the White Sox‚ but the outfielder was pulled from Sunday's game due to tightness in his quad. He was expected to be ready for the day but opted to leave after the first inning. The catcher is expected to be fully recovered by Tuesday and will take live batting practice against Chris Mazza. The Tigers are hoping to make him an Opening Day starter. The roster must be finalized by noon ET on Thursday‚ so if he's ready‚ he can make the team. In addition to being ready for Opening Day‚ the Tigers are planning ahead for the 2022 season. While Greene will be a regular in center field once he returns‚ Meadows is expected to be part of the outfield rotation. The Tigers will also keep Justin Hill and Victor Reyes as the primary outfielders. The left field is a must-have position for the Tigers and Meadows is a valuable piece. Although he's a free agent in 2025‚ the trade is a win-win for both sides. The Tigers will need a left-handed pitcher to be competitive‚ but they're bankrolling Josh Lowe as they try to develop Jose Paredes. In turn‚ the Rays will get a better look at Josh Lowe‚ who was acquired in the summer. While Meadows is not a top prospect‚ he's a power hitter with dipping on-base ability. His new home at American Family Field should help his numbers. Just like Willy Adames‚ Meadows doesn't strike out a lot‚ but he's a power bat that can hit 30 or more home runs. A change of scenery could help him hit 30+ home runs in 2022. Despite his injury‚ the Tigers have drafted an elder brother of Parker Meadows. The younger Meadows was selected ninth overall in the 2013 MLB Draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates. He will turn 27 on May 3‚ and the Tigers will have all three of his arbitration years. He'll be a good fit for the team‚ and the Tigers will have a chance to give him more playing time. As for the rest of the infield‚ the team will be missing the bats of three players. Meadows grades out best on the left side‚ while Grossman is better in the right. Both are capable of filling the void left field has for the Yankees. But if they don't get a replacement for Grossman‚ Hinch can move one of the outfielders to make room for both players. But Greene's absence could be a limiting factor.