Heading into the 2022 season, hopes were high, not only among the fans but also inside the Detroit Tigers organization that the team was ready to take a step forward and potentially make some noise in the MLB Playoff picture. After all, in their first season with A.J. Hinch as their manager, the Tigers shocked quite a few people in terms of how competitive the team was.
Well, that was then and this is now and following another loss to the Minnesota Twins, the Tigers are now 20 games under .500 for the first time this season.
But what makes matters worse is that it feels as if the Tigers are barely competing to win baseball games at this point and that makes for some rough baseball.
Frustrated A.J. Hinch addresses injuries, says effort is not an issue for Tigers
All teams have their share of injuries throughout a Major League Baseball season but A.J. Hinch and the Detroit Tigers have really had some bad luck in 2022, especially when it comes to starting pitching.
Following Sunday's game, a game in which the Tigers lost ANOTHER starting pitcher (Rony Garcia) to an injury, Hinch spoke to reporters and mentioned multiple times that his team is “beat up” and that they are in a “tough spot” because of injuries.
“We play to win games and we're not doing it enough,” manager AJ Hinch said. “We're beat up as a team physically and we're not winning games. Put that combo together and it's pretty miserable.”
“We're in a tough spot,” Hinch said. “We're not in a good place as a team in general, but our pitching and where the roster is, we're in a really tough spot. We were hoping to get three or four innings from Garcia and kind of build him up here just as you would on a rehab assignment.”
Garcia, who had just returned from a stint on the injured list after dealing with a shoulder issue, had to leave Sunday's game early with pain in his bicep.
“To be clear, it's a separate issue,” he said. “It's a new injury, not the same as what he had before. This is a bicep issue, which he reported on the last two pitches of his outing.”
“He's going to be shut down for a bit,” Hinch said of Garcia. “I can't imagine he'll be doing much throwing until the inflammation is out.”
The Tigers also lost SS Javier Baez during Sunday's loss to the Twins after he was hit in the elbow with a pitch.
“He got smoked in the radial nerve in the back of the elbow,” Hinch said. “It hit mostly padding but the sensation shot down in his hand and he felt he couldn't grip a bat.”
When asked about the ‘compete level' for the Tigers, Hinch quickly said that effort is not an issue for his team.
“The efforts good, the efforts good. There's no problem in effort. There's problem in execution and certainly were not putting up enough in a lot of areas but the effort is not an issue.”
— Bally Sports Detroit (@BallySportsDET) July 24, 2022
Eric Haase also brought up the injuries while speaking to reporters, noting that they are “more frustrating than the losses”.
“The injuries are more frustrating than the losses,” said Haase, who also doubled in the game. “It's like, if you are going out and getting your butts kicked every night, that's one thing. But these games are going how they are because guys are coming out of games with injuries and you fighting back.
“That's more tough. You don't want to see anyone out there getting hurt. It's just a really tough spot. We can't figure out where the injury bug is coming from.”
Nation, do you believe that injuries are why the Detroit Tigers are 20 games under .500 at this point in the season?