FanPost

6 silver linings from a cloudy April

So, this April isn't a great improvement upon April 2021, at 7-13 we're in last place and our bats, for the most part, couldn't be cooler, but here's some reasons I still have a lot of hope for this season:

6. Austin Meadows. It seems to me that this might be a breakout year for Meadows as he puts it all together behind the plate. Hitting for average, hitting for power, hitting in the clutch, reducing his strikeouts, and taking a lot of walks. I see him being the team's RBIs leader for years to come.

5. Beau Brieske. I typically don't have a lot of faith in "Pop-up" prospects, but as Skubal showed me last year, and Brieske is showing me this year, the Tigers have been very good at developing pitchers whose talent were are otherwise viewed modestly. I also had believed that the Tigers brought him up much too soon, but he's shown a lot of poise and grit. He throws that fastball for strikes all over the zone and has some very good secondary pitches, especially his change-up which seems to really fool hitters into whiffs or soft contact (I think his is because of Brieske's unconventional low release point). A few more starts like this and he might be a permanent part of the rotation.

4. Robbie Grossman. After looking pretty clueless in the season's first few games, Grossman has really showed some skills with the bat. I think that he's even MORE patient at the plate than he was last season and he seems to be focused on getting base hits rather than home runs so far. His launch angle is down to 15.2 from 21.1 last year, so I think he's much more focused on being a solid #1 hitter than a home run threat. We've now got other home run threats on the team.

3. Tarik Skubal. Can't say enough about him. Even when he's pitching poorly, he seems to be able to correct himself quickly. And when he's on, especially when he has command of his slider and throws it more, he's nearly unhittable. I think that between Mize, Manning and Skubal, we have our next ace in Skubal. I predicting some pretty amazing strikeout numbers by the end of the season.

2. Javy is back! Baez is the type of player that just lights a team on fire. He plays with so much energy that I believe just having him in the lineup seems to improve the play by his teammates. El Mago is perfectly in-perfect but always dangerous. He seems to be cutting back on strikeouts (11 in 46 PAs is not great but better) and that gives me hope that he's the straw that stirs the drink in May.

1. The bullpen. This bullpen looks to be the real deal and has a lot of depth, in case of injuries. If the Tigers can continue to have one of MLB's best bullpens come July, I think we'll be in the hunt. Other issues should iron themselves out, teams with the hitting talent the Tigers have don't slump forever and we have Riley Greene coming up soon. Remember, it's the bullpen that pulls the team through in the later months more than any other part of the team (or at least I believe it to be so).

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