The Detroit Tigers are a team looking to improve on a down year in 2022. The Tigers finished fourth in the underpowered American League Central, ending the year with 66 wins and 96 losses. That record was one win better than the basement-dwelling Kansas City Royals but was a full 26 games behind the division-winning Cleveland Guardians.
The Tigers start the 2023 season with back-to-back series on the road. The first sees them face the Tampa Bay Rays, while the second is a title against the 2022 World Series Champion Houston Astros. Their home opener is on Thursday, April 6, when they host the Boston Red Sox at Comerica Park in the first game of a three-game set. Other home series in April see the Tigers facing the San Francisco Giants, the Guardians, and the Baltimore Orioles.
Here are three questions for the Tigers ahead of the 2023 season.
Three Key Questions
Are we headed for yet another rebuild?
The Detroit Tigers were the sixth-worst team in all of baseball last year. Much of this was to do with a 2021-22 offseason where the Tigers failed to spend money in the right places to add to a roster that had been promising in 2021. The results were predictable. The Tigers were last in walks, they were last in home runs, and they were last in runs scored. Given that it is hard to win in baseball without scoring runs, general manager Al Avila was let go. The incomings have again been meager, and it is hard to see how there is much progress from last year to this with essentially the same roster.
Will Miguel Cabrera go out on a high?
This will almost undoubtedly be Miguel Cabrera’s last season in Major League Baseball. The one-time menace at the plate has been declining for years – and at 39 years old, that shouldn’t be a surprise – but it will be interesting to see how Cabrera plays on his farewell tour. Assuming that the Tigers aren’t likely to be in the playoff hunt, then Miggy watch could be the most exciting part of the season. Expect to see Cabrera slash at everything while sharing time at DH and being in the conversation for the most home runs on the team.
What is the status of Casey Mize?
The Tigers need all hands on deck to get better. One of those hands is pitcher Casey Mize, the No. 1 overall pick of the 2018 draft. Mize underwent Tommy John Surgery last season, but he also had a procedure done on his back. That combination is terrifying for a pitcher, and the rumors now are the Miza might not make it back to the mound in 2023. Getting back to 100% has to be the goal for Mize, even if it means he won’t be part of this rebuild until 2024.