To say that this has been a trying season for the Detroit Tigers and their fan base would be a severe understatement. Buoyed by the assurance from general manager Al Avila and team owner and CEO Chris Ilitch that the team’s rebuilding process was over prior to the start of the 2022 campaign, Tigers fans have instead been treated to a summer of maddening inconsistency, inexplicably struggling offensive showings, subpar defense, and increased scrutiny on the two aforementioned executives.
The fact that the team has suffered through an unbelievable amount of injuries hasn’t helped things, either.
For veteran skipper A.J. Hinch, he wants his players to know that they have nobody to blame for their current situation other than themselves.
“I’m just trying to make sure our guys realize we put ourselves in this situation,” Hinch said. “We have to deal with the consequences of the stress, anxiousness, curiosity and the reality that, if I was on the outside and I had a contending club, I would have a few pieces that I would want here, too.”
Among the injuries that the Tigers roster has suffered include Casey Mize undergoing Tommy John surgery, Rony Garcia suffering shoulder soreness, Kyle Funkhauser undergoing shoulder surgery, and Matt Manning missing extended time due to a shoulder/biceps issue. Oh, and there was the fact that newly signed Eduardo Rodriguez left the team due to a personal issue and was even out of contact with them for several weeks.
Hinch himself seemed at a loss to explain the amount of injuries that his pitching staff has suffered.
It’s not been the season that the Tigers or A.J. Hinch wanted
“I’m not trying to avoid the question, I just don’t have any answers,” Hinch said. “These are age-old questions. The more you protect pitchers, the more we hurt them. But if we run them out there and run them into the ground, then we abused them.
With the MLB Trade Deadline fast approaching, the Tigers could also be preparing to bid goodbye to the likes of Tarik Skubal and Michael Fulmer, both of whom have seen their names pop up in trade rumors.