FanPost

Robbie Ray makes sense

Would it be better to apply as much pressure as possible to expect the young Tiger pitchers to figure everything out, or to have a clear ace leading the squad into the future as an example of developing into the league's premier pitcher? In my opinion having an outstanding rotation is how a championship is built. Ray, Mize, Skubal, Manning, and Rodriguez might be the best rotation in baseball in just a year or two.

Yes, I do think the Tigers need more offense. For the same reason I like the idea of adding Ray to lead the way, I like the idea of adding a solid bat to the lineup to take the pressure off of Greene and Torkelson to produce right away. However, I'm not sold that Carlos Correa is the right guy to do that. I might change my tune if the contract were based on incentives to let Correa earn what he wants, but guaranteeing him a fortune for 10 years without some assurances makes me wince.

Who's out there that fills the need best? Javier Baez is probably the best available choice - he can play several positions, has power, is a good fielder, and has been healthy for most, if not all of his career. With Jonathan Schoop he forms a solid middle infield and perhaps ultimately moves to second base following 2023, if Ryan Kreidler develops into the best long term shortstop option, or even Christian Santana emerges as the top performer.

The outfield seems set to me. I like Grossman, Baddoo, Hill, Cameron, and Reyes as immediate role players, with Greene looming to join them sometime down the line. There are other youngsters that may have a future with the Tigers too. For the most part all of the farm hands are longer term projects at this time, but what a difference a year can make sometimes.

Barnhardt is a great addition. Ideally Dillon Dingler emerges as a Lance Parrish type hitter and catcher, but with Jake Rogers out, Eric Haase stumbling a bit at the close of the year, and the spotty injury history of Grayson Greiner, getting a Gold Glove winner to handle the pitching staff seems like a great pick-up.

Miguel Cabrera is our leading DH for the next two seasons, like it or not. He should prove to be better than average as he closes out his career and provides a presence that inspires confidence, if not awe. If he is tired or injured the addition of Baez I think helps to balance things, and who knows there can always be a surprise performer. Baddoo, Haase, Reyes, and others all have had great moments.

Adding Ray would be the stunning move that pushes the team over the top to my way of thinking. Having a great rotation is half the battle in baseball - it's been said that pitching is 90% of the game, so having a star rotation would be a difference maker. Ideally, Greg Soto, Michael Fulmer, Kyle Funkhouser, Tyler Alexander, Jose Cisnero, Joe Jimenez, and others prove to be a great bullpen to complete the staff, and make it dominant.

Here's my 2022 opening day lineup:

RF Grossman

LF Baddoo

SS Baez

1B Cabrera

3B Candelario

2B Schoop

DH Haase

C Barnhardt

CF Hill

With my starting rotation being:

Ray

Mize

Skubal

Manning

Rodriguez

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of the <em>Bless You Boys</em> writing staff.