It has been a rough decade for Detroit Tigers fans, who are now entering their ninth year since their beloved Motor City Kitties’ last playoff appearance back in 2014. However, as the adage goes, hope springs eternal ahead of a fresh campaign, and this time around the Olde English D has new management in place as the “rebuild” continues.
The biggest story heading into the summer schedule is Miguel Cabrera’s farewell tour as the future Hall of Famer takes his final lap around the majors to cap off a stellar career under the big lights. After that, the Tigers have just as many questions as they did last year, with a carousel of replacement players rotating in while a few of the usual suspects remain behind.
That said, most fans have a pretty good idea of what to expect from Detroit’s baseball team but many also have some nagging desires they would like to see fulfilled by this year’s squad. These bold expectations are not rooted in reality, but rather, simply limited by each individual’s imagination.
Take a look below at our abridged roundtable discussion regarding the boldest predictions for the Tigers this summer, with each member of staff weighing in with their respective takes ahead of the season opener on Thursday.
Peter Kwasniak: The Tigers have a winning season.
Adam Dubbin: Damn that’s BOLD.
Peter: It’ll be easy cause Torkelson hits 40 home runs.
Trevor Hooth: Mason Englert ends the year in the rotation.
Peter: Because of his performance or out of necessity?
- Spencer Turnbull finishes top 5 in Cy Young voting, possibly even winning it;
- Miggy hits 10 more HR in a highly part-time role, including a few pinch-hitting;
- Our rule 5 guy, Englert, is one of the top 3 relievers in the bullpen all season;
- Baez has a mediocre season but still opts out because of the weak FA market this next offseason.
Frisbee Pilot: Three, count ‘em, THREE bold predictions.
- Riley Greene will hit 25 home runs;
- Jake Rogers will have a solid season all around;
- Eduardo Rodriguez will finish the season with 15 wins and an ERA under 4.
- Matt Manning taps into his minor-league strikeout rates, posting a 26.5% strikeout rate on the season and representing as one of Detroit’s three young 2023 All-Stars;
- Spencer Torkelson starts at first base for the American League ahead of Vlad Jr. Greene makes the team as a late-added reserve but does not yet earn a start in a crowded AL outfield of Julio, Trout, and Judge.
Adam: Really enjoying that legal cannabis up there, eh?
Brandon Day: Are predictions bold enough if they don’t lead to accusations of drug use?
Sunshine: There’s a fine line between bold and insane predictions.
Patrick O’Kennedy: My bold predictions
- Spencer Torkelson leads the Tigers in home runs;
- Riley Greene is an All-Star (which is something given the AL talent in the OF);
- Jonathan Schoop will not be on the roster after Memorial Day;
- Matthew Boyd will be the ACE of the Tigers’ rotation;
- The Oakland A’s will announce that they’re moving to Las Vegas by Thanksgiving.
Adam: My bold predictions are simple
- The Tigers finish .500 or better this season. Seems unlikely, but if everything comes up Milhouse, it could just happen;
- Additionally, Alex Faedo snaps out of his funk and is one of the top pitchers on the staff by the end of the season.
- The Tigers have two legit all-stars in Riley Greene and Spencer Turnbull;
- Schoop ends the season somewhere else;
- The Tigers buy at the deadline but miss the playoffs;
- Also, the bullpen reeks and the starters stay mostly healthy, a total inverse from last year.
Frisbee: Variety’s the spice of life, after all.
Adam: The spice of life must flow.
- Spencer Turnbull is traded for a top 100 prospect by the end of July;
- Parker Meadows is called up by the All-Star break;
- Colt Keith debuts in the major leagues this summer;
- Tigers catchers combine for the most HR and SB both of any catching group;
- Riley Greene is signed to a long-term extension before spring 2024.
Mmm, that’s bold!
Sunshine: I will legit be sad if #1 happens. He’s my second favorite player after Skubal.
Brandon: Hey maybe he gets extended instead of Riley. But Harris definitely isn’t going to take a pitcher into their walk year.
David Rosenberg: My hopes aren’t high for the Tigers this season, but that means that picking Detroit to finish third in the division is a bold prediction, right? Let’s say 75 wins. Riley Greene being with the team on Day 1 will matter in the long run, and Spencer Torkelson is going to hit 25-plus home runs this year. Don’t worry... I’m prepared to be hurt.
Brandon: Feel free to go in more random directions.
David: Aliens appear at Comerica Park at least twice before the All-Star break.
Fielder’s Choice: Nah, Ohtani doesn’t visit until the second half.
Brady: The moved-in walls end up having a minuscule effect. Is that bold?
Sunshine: That’s about as bold as ketchup on a hot dog.
GROUP: (confused noises)
Cameron J. Kaiser: I’m seeing a lot of similar bold predictions, and they’re mostly ones I can get behind. I haven’t seen anything around Nick Maton, so I’ll say that he’s worth more fWAR than Javier Baez. I think Maton ends up being a solid 3+ fWAR guy, but even if he’s not I mostly think Baez isn’t very good and will end up in the 1-2 fWAR range. Not even sure that’s bold, but overall I’m optimistic about the team outside of Baez, who continues to see fewer pitches in an at-bat than pretty much any fan you could pull out of the stands.
Patrick: Still not a fan of Baez. I hope he breaks out and opts out.
Brandon: I’m still a fan. Not necessarily of the deal, which was okay but uninspiring, but Javy’s fine and fun to watch. He’s just not a guy who is going to be a big cornerstone piece anymore. The Tigers’ payroll is bound to start at a truly meager $70 million next offseason even if Báez and Eduardo Rodriguez decide not to opt out. Those deals aren’t likely to hurt the Tigers much at all. Gimme 2-3 WAR seasons for a few years and we’ll easily live with it, Javy. One more big year would sure be nice, even if we can’t really make good use of it yet in terms of record.
Ashley MacLennan: My bold predictions
- A plus .500 season;
- A Matt Boyd comeback year;
- Riley Greene: All-Star.
Rob Rogacki: The Tigers will be interesting enough for me to continue watching after the All-Star break. Additionally, Beau Brieske is the team’s best pitcher this year.
Les Lim: Unless it’s for spam, we won’t have to ban someone from the comments until after the trade deadline.
Brandon: May it be so.
Give us your bold predictions in the comments below!