Hinch deserving of credit
A baseball season is much like a marathon run.
It’s a long and grilling procedure, with many bumps in the road.
Given that, I believe that AJ Hinch is doing a commendable job with the Detroit Tigers in his first season in Motown.
It’s not that the Tigers are going to win an American League Central pennant. The Chicago White Sox and Cleveland Indians both appear to have more talent than Detroit does.
But what Hinch has done is help make the Tigers at least competitive, and that’s something Detroit fans haven’t seen in some time.
And the upgrade in pitching is the main reason for that improvement.
The staff, led by youngsters Casey Mize, Spencer Turnbull and Matthew Boyd has been shutting down the opposition with regularity. And young Tarik Skubal has rebounded from a slow start to add more depth.
Better pitching is the first and most important step for improvement in the majors.
Mize, in particular, is showing the stuff that made him a top pick in the draft. He has outstanding command of his pitches, and if he can cut down on the number of homers being hit by the opposition, he can soon become an ace.
Turnbull, of course, already has a no-hit game to his credit in 2021, and the stuff it takes to become a winner.
Hinch, who carried some baggage because of the Houston Astros’ sign-stealng controversy, has shown he knows how to handle a pitching staff.
He’s displayed the patience with his younger players that it takes. And unlike some previous Detroit managers, he appears to have a real feel for the game.
The hitting by the Tigers has picked up recently, thanks to rookie Eric Haase’s power hitting. How long Haase can keep pounding the ball is still in question.
But unless some of the veterans — namely an aging Miguel Cabrera pick up — it’s going to be a long second part of the season.
In this puzzling season of little hitting (the infamous Mendoza line is considered average) the teams that hit are going to be tough to beat.
Unfortunately, I don’t see the Tigers doing enough to be much more than average.
Answering the many questions I seem to get, .500 is a more realistic goal for this team.