Tigers' Weaknesses

I saw the title of an article in the Detroit Free Press saying, Al Alvilla failed to address the team's biggest weaknesses. I don't know the jest of the article's particulars but thought it an interesting subject to consider. Just what are the Tigers' greatest weaknesses? Overall offense is definitely an area that seems obvious. Starting pitching has also become a critical concern, but not because of a lack of talent, just trying to field a staff of healthy bodies has been the problem. So if we say offense, then I think it's appropriate to go over the team's position fielders and review what might be changed for the better.

Trading Robbie Grossman might be a plus by subtraction. The team has a number of good young outfielders that are chomping at the bit to get to the show and get some playing time. Although Grossman had a great year in many ways last year, his age and lack of production this year probably warranted a change. Plus he would be a free agent this winter and trying to resign a guy you don't know you should is definitely the position you want to be in, so you don't want to end up with nothing.

Akili Baddoo and Kerry Carpenter are the leading replacement candidates. Victor Reyes and, or Austin Meadows might be considerations too. Don't forget Daz Cameron and Derek Hill too. Would moving Riley Greene to a corner also be a consideration? That's 7 outfielders, plus Eric Haase occasionally gets stationed in leftfield too.

I think sending Grossman away was the right move, and has the potential to pay dividends by giving others a better chance to play, as well as getting something of future value.

The Tigers' infield is problematic to say the least. Jeimer Candelario has regressed from being a two time Tiger of the Year. He shows flashes of having power and command at the plate, but the lapses are very troubling. He was expected to solidify the lineup by being a consistent slugging threat, but instead is hitting like a bottom of the order player. Is his value diminished in the trade market so that there just isn't any value to get for him? Perhaps so, and that is truly sad.

Jonathan Schoop, Javier Baez, and Spencer Torkelson complete the infield that has proven to be so much of a disappointment this year that the season seems its been a massive let down for all of the team's fans. Nobody has hit like was hoped for, or expected. This should have been the Tigers' most reliable group of hitters, but instead they were the symbol of its failure.

A trade seems unlikely of any of these players, and so the best we could hope for was calling up youngsters to replace and perhaps spur them. Torkelson of course is a youngster so the only course to follow here was to send him down to get more confident and hopefully regain his standing as a top prospect hitter. Schoop and Baez are more problematic. Schoop gave way for a while to Kody Clemens who proceeded to show he was not a good offensive solution. Baez was injured and Willi Castro was given some opportunities to re-establish himself. Yet Willi Castro didn't beat door the door to win the spot full-time. Harold Castro doesn't seem to have the fielding prowess of Willi Castro, but he has been a pleasant consistent line-drive hitter all year.

Harold Castro's best position seems to be firstbase for now, but Miguel Cabrera also has played some there.

It might be argued that if Cabrera can play first the best option to improve the offense would be by targeting the best DH available. I would probably love to see J D Martinez in that spot, but how likely is that?

Tyler Barnhardt and Eric Haase have been the primary catching tandem. I doubt much offensive improvement could be obtained

So what should Avila do? There simply doesn't seem to be many options. Kerry Carpenter's bat might be the biggest salvation, if he can hit as well as he has in the minors this year. I'm anxious to see how he does, too.

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