Peterson: Tigers put pressure on young prospects

There’s nothing wrong with banking on young players to bolster the fortunes of a professional sports team.

But the Detroit Tigers may be putting too much pressure on their prospects.

If you go strictly by the commentary of Detroit TV color men Jack Morris and Dan Petry, the pitching duo of Casey Mize and Tarik Skubal is ready to march straight into the Hall of Fame.

I’m aware that Mize has great stuff (eight different pitches) and that Skubal also has the potential to be a steady winner.

But the fact — call it calloused if you will — is that neither has played in enough games to draw the kind of praise already lavished on them.

I suspect that the Tigers announcers have been given strict instructions to accentuate the positive in every respect. And that includes overhyping the rookie pitchers.

The Tigers are a flawed team to put it kindly.

They lack overall pitching and their everyday lineup is full of holes.

That’s a direct critique on a front office that has given up on spending money to put the best lineup on the field.

Make no mistake, this isn’t the same operation it was under late owner Mike Ilitch.

Ilitch was ready to spend money and he showed it by bringing in players ready to play.

One of those, Miguel Cabrera, gave the team Hall of Fame numbers to earn his hefty $30 million salary.

But Cabrera’s better days are far behind him and he’s now little more than a highly paid public relations man who is hitting below .200. He’s what would be called an albatross.

Getting rid of slugger Nick Castellanos was another mistake. Castellanos would have provided some much-needed power.

And how wise was it to let catcher James McCann go? McCann is hitting over .300 for the White Sox and has good power.

With the exception of outfielder JaCoby Jones and shortstop prospect (there’s that word again) Isaac Paredes, the Motowners have little else to put their hopes on.

In the meantime, the Tigers have a lineup filled with has-beens and never-weres. The batting averages clearly show that.

The Detroit record is respectable so far but that was mostly due to a kindly early season schedule.

But legitimate big league teams like the Cubs, Cardinals and Brewers are coming up and the record will slowly go down.

Sorry, Tigers fans, for the negatives. But this really is just another mediocre team that would be better suited playing in Toledo.


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