The Detroit Tigers are in the process of an identity change.
When new President of Baseball Operations Scott Harris took over in September, he had his work cut out for him. While the Tigers have several players to build with, the problem with the roster over the last decade has been the ability to develop homegrown talent.
Only since Ryan Garko, the VP of player development for Detroit, along with others in the organization, have Tigers fans seen a few of the minor league players contribute. With that, there are players developing and pressing veterans for time.
Al Avila has used free agency to plug the holes on the roster, but the results have been a mixed bag. With Harris, Detroit took two approaches. First, he worked the waiver wire, trying to fix the bullpen, the lack of catching depth in the upper levels and some infield help.
Second, he made trades from a source of strength in 2022, the bullpen. He traded Gregory Soto to the Phillies for Matt Vierling, Nick Maton and catcher Donnie Sands. Then, he took Joe Jimenez, who had one of the best K rates at 33%, and flipped him for prospect Justyn Henry-Malloy and a minor league lefty.
While it’s early, Detroit is off to a 2-7 start and have the second worst run differential in the league at -35. Austin Meadows hit the IL as he addresses his mental health for the second straight season in a row. The bullpen has thrown already 35 innings and has an ERA of 6.36. A lot to process for this slow start. So, what players could Tigers fans see gone by May 1?