It’s going to be another very long baseball season in Detroit – assuming there is one – as the Tigers remain in full-blown rebuild mode, although there is some good young talent on the way. Here’s a look at what to expect from the 2020 Tigers. Let’s check the MLB Odds and World Series Odds for the Detroit Tigers 2020 Season.
Detroit Tigers 2020 Pre-Season Analysis
Detroit Tigers Offensive Analysis
The best-known Detroit Tigers hitter remains future Hall of Famer Miguel Cabrera, but the guy who won the Triple Crown and was a two-time AL MVP is long gone now. Cabrera hit .281 last year, but he hit just 12 homers with a .744 OPS for the Tigers as a 36-year-old. Cabrera turns 37 in 2020 and is due $124 million over the next four seasons. The Tigers are trying to keep Cabrera healthy and productive by encouraging weight loss to reduce the pressure on his troublesome knee.
“Last year I was heavy,” he said. “I think I lost a lot of weight from last year to this year. I tried to eat more vegetables, cut out some extra stuff. I ate almost the same, but less carbohydrates.”
Cabrera will start his 18th major league season with the highest batting average (.315) among active players with a minimum of 1,000 plate appearances. He also ranks second in RBIs (1,694) and second in home runs with 477, although only 31 of those homers came in the last three seasons.
The Tigers have seven of nine spots locked up in the starting batting order, assuming everyone is health for the regular season. The team added second baseman Jonathan Schoop in free agency. Schoop, 28, signed a one-year, $6.1 million free agent deal with Detroit in December and will try to build on the bounce-back .777 OPS and 23 home runs he posted in 121 games last season with the Twins.
First basemen CJ Cron and catcher Austin Romine also were added. Cron was non-tendered by the Rays after the 2018 season despite hitting well, then was non-tendered by the Twins after hitting well in 2019. He will serve as the Tigers’ starting first baseman in 2020. Last year with the Twins he batted .253/.311/.469 with 25 home runs and 78 RBI.
Romine is in line to receive regular starts behind the dish for the Tigers, so he should easily cruise past his current career high of 265 plate appearances. The 31-year-old is only a career .239/.281/.366 hitter over parts of eight major league seasons.
Detroit Tigers Pitching Analysis
The delay of the season will be a good thing for former AL Rookie of the Year Michael Fulmer. He missed all of last season following Tommy John surgery. Fulmer went 11-7 with a 3.06 ERA in 2016, his debut season in the majors in winning Rookie of the Year.
He was fairly solid again the following year, but since then, he’s had one problem after another. Oblique and knee injuries limited Fulmer in 2018, when his ERA rose to 4.69. He was hoping he had put those issues in the past at spring training last year, but he ended up facing an even longer recovery after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Spencer Turnbull led the majors with 17 losses in 2019 but actually wasn’t that bad. The 27-year-old right-hander finished with a rough 3-17 record, 4.61 ERA, and 1.44 WHIP in 148 1/3 total innings.
The team added Ivan Nova in free agency. The veteran right-hander posted a 4.72 ERA last season for the White Sox, but he made 34 starts and should at least provide the Tigers with someone who can eat innings.
Former No. 1 overall pick Casey Mize should be up in the majors at some point this year. Mize threw 109 innings between Class A (advanced) Lakeland and Double-A Erie in 2019, but was shut down early after experiencing a shoulder flare-up earlier in the summer.
Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire confirmed Tuesday that Joe Jimenez will be his closer this season.
That has been the presumption after Jimenez ended last season in the role. Gardy also said that Buck Farmer will be the primary setup man for Jimenez and that he will “build it backwards from there” as far as the rest of his bullpen goes. Jimenez can be erratic at times, but he has wipeout stuff when he’s on.
Detroit Tigers Offseason Movements
Detroit Tigers Notable additions: SP Dario Agrazal, 1B/DH C.J. Cron, SP/RP Rony Garcia, SP Zack Godley, C Eric Haase, SP Ivan Nova, C Jhon Nunez, OF Cameron Maybin, C Austin Romine, RP Hector Santiago, 2B Jonathan Schoop, RP Alex Wilson
Detroit Tigers Notable subtractions: IF Gordon Beckham (SD), SP/RP Matt Hall (BOS), IF Josh Harrison (PHI), SP Edwin Jackson (ARI), SP Matt Moore (Japan), IF/OF Ronny Rodriguez (MIL), SP Tyson Ross (SF), RP Drew VerHagen (Japan)