No longer rebuilding, the Tigers aim to win in 2022

Detroit opens the season on Friday against the White Sox
Javier Baez
Posted at 11:02 PM, Apr 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-04 23:02:15-04
Tigers season preview

The Detroit Tigers have spent some money in the offseason and are combining some new veterans with their young talent in hopes of a return to the postseason in 2022.

Dan Hasty, who hosts the Road to Detroit Podcast as well as being the voice of the West Michigan Whitecaps, likes the idea of having top prospect Spencer Torkelson making the opening day roster.

"Spencer Torkelson, who put up a .300 batting average for through the bulk of spring training and got his first spring training home run mind you off of Aaron Nola, one of the better pitchers in the National League, had himself a very solid spring," Hasty said. "He's still looking for that run production as it continues, but what we saw in West Michigan was a little bit slow to adjust to the league at that time, but once he did, it was scary to see the results."

With another rookie, Riley Greene out for awhile with a fractured foot, the Tigers will need to fill a hole in centerfield.

Derek Hill
Detroit Tigers outfielder Derek Hill catches a fly ball during the sixth inning of a spring baseball exhibition game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Wednesday, March 23, 2022, in Lakeland, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

"The good news is that player development at the major league level, this is a compliment to AJ Hinch, Chris Fetter and the rest of that coaching staff, has improved significantly over the past year," Hasty said. "Derek Hill was floundering in the minor leagues and barely hanging on to a major league job by the time he got into 2021 and last year, we saw a player that could be a decent contributor for a winning club. I think you can at least start the season hoping that the bulk of the time in center field is occupied by Derek Hill. I think Victor Reyes and then Robbie Grossman. I think you can piecemeal it together."

With the addition of a third wild card this season, the Tigers have their eyes on returning to the postseason for the first time since 2014.

Casey Mize
Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Casey Mize throws during the fourth inning of a spring training baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Sunday, April 3, 2022, in Clearwater, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

"I personally don't know if they have a wild card team right now," Hasty said. "But I also didn't know that they'd have a wild card team in 2006. I don't think anybody did. And they overachieved last year that's the big thing the Tigers overachieved by about ten games according to all the math that's out there about baseball, and if the math says this year that this is an 80-win team, and they go out and they overachieve by 10 games again, that is a wild card team."

It all starts this Friday when the Tigers host the White Sox at 1:10 p.m., weather permitting.