Remember when we said the 2018 Detroit Tigers wouldn’t be as bad as the 2003 club? Well, we were right. The ‘18 team has already won more games than the 2003 outfit, and we’re only in early August. They have more talent on paper, and would be better were it not for a rash of injuries throughout the year.
But over the weekend, the 2018 Tigers fell behind their 2003 counterparts in one major area: offensive production. As reader BigMaxN pointed out in Sunday’s recap thread, the ‘18 Tigers have a lower OPS+ than the 2003 club. The 2018 Tigers are hitting just .240/.297/.376 this season, a paltry .673 OPS. They are dead last in baseball with 88 home runs, and have been outscored by all but two other MLB teams. They have been baseball’s worst offense by a wide margin since Miguel Cabrera went down for the season in mid-June, and own a horrible 55 wRC+ over the past 30 days.
Don’t mention this to the Tigers themselves, though. They reportedly took offense to one reporter mentioning their lack of offense over the weekend, and responded by... scoring one run in three games against the Oakland Athletics.
Let’s talk about some prospects instead
Thankfully, things are going a little better down on the farm. Infielder Kody Clemens has gotten off to a hot start, hitting .271/.371/.458 with four home runs in 33 games for the West Michigan Whitecaps. Daz Cameron has continued to perform well in Double-A Erie, and is now being called the “center fielder of the future.” New shortstop prospect Willi Castro — who FanGraphs ranked as the 10th best prospect moved at the trade deadline — has also gotten off to a nice start since arriving from Cleveland last week.
From earlier: Through five games with Double-A Erie, #Tigers Willi Castro has hit in...well, all of them.— Emily Waldon (@EmilyCWaldon) August 6, 2018
- 7 H
-2 multi-hit games
- 3 2B, 3B, HR, 4 RBI
Casey Mize made his High-A debut, and looked damn good doing so.
Lynn Henning of the Detroit News also likes what Grayson Greiner has done this season, and I’m cautiously optimistic the Tigers might give him some more playing time next year as they begin to move on from James McCann.
This guy is going to be very annoying in the near future
Around the horn
Tigers prospect Jake Robson was on someone’s podcast last week. Matt Chapman is very good at baseball, as we saw this weekend. Johan Santana officially retired from baseball. Dixon Machado talks about being DFA’d by the only team he has ever known. Angels manager Mike Scioscia might retire, or he might not.
Question of the Day
What do you like about baseball? The wonderful Meg Rowley hinted at this question in a must-read piece about the beauty of baseball last week, and Sports Illustrated’s Emma Baccellieri (another must-follow) straight-up asked it.
also, the "name your favorite baseball play" question in the first paragraph is suuuuch a good personality test— Emma Baccellieri (@emmabaccellieri) August 2, 2018