Things just haven’t been going well for the Detroit Tigers lately. Fans are panicking, players are dropping like flies, coaches are being ejected like the buffet line is hot, and the losses continue to pile up.
Chicken Little, meet Colonel Nathan R. Jessup, because if the sky isn’t falling we may indeed have a code red.
A brief recap of the latest events that may or may not be cause for concern:
- Doug Fister is back on the DL for the 2nd time in as many months with a strained left side.
- Quintin Berry tried to snap a bat in half over his right knee after striking out in the 7th inning on Wednesday night but couldn’t power through it.
- Ryan Raburn has exceeded the worst of expectations and is once again a Toledo Mud Hen.
- Casey Crosby will make his major league debut on Friday night against the Yankees. He had a 1.36 WHIP at AAA Toledo thanks to 26 walks in just 50.2 innings. He isn’t ready to step in for Fister, but neither is anyone else.
- Gerald “G-Money” Laird ripped a double to left-center on Wednesday night and after Boston 2nd baseman Nick Punto said something to him while walking by, Laird replied with “I’m fu*%ing locked.” This is more hilarious than concerning, but worth mentioning. Laird is hitting .310.
- Delmon Young’s on-base % is .292 and he has just 17 RBI’s despite hitting behind 2 guys who have 125 combined hits.
- The Tigers are 11th out of 14 American League teams in fielding %.
- Justin Verlander reacted on multiple occasions to the subpar defense behind him on Tuesday night.
- Andy Dirks is limping again, this time with a sore Achilles.
- The Tigers’ bullpen has a combined 4.39 ERA, which ranks 13th out of 14 teamsn in the AL.
- Don Kelly has 0 extra-base hits on the year yet remains Jim Leyland’s golden boy.
- Fans are so disillusioned by a few good games from Quintin Berry that they think he should play every day. Where? How?
- Austin Jackson is hoping to come back this weekend but hasn’t progressed well.
- Drew Smyly has given up 15 earned runs in his last 20.2 innings.
- Rick Porcello’s breaking balls are still terrible.
Tiger fans far and wide would like to order a code red on any number of Tigers or their coaches. It’s been that bad. Pfc. William T. Santiago would have rather the dynamic Colonel Jessup showed a little more patience with his struggles in A Few Good Men.
The Motown faithful have understandably sounded the alarm. This team is supposed to be excellent. Not just good, but excellent. Instead, they are 23-27 and in danger of being swept out of Beantown. I am certain of one thing – nothing on this list is of greater concern than the health of Doug Fister.
To you that are in a current state of doubt I say this: there are still 4 months of baseball left in this regular season. Nearly 70% of the season remains. Things will get better. The Tigers still have the best pitcher in baseball, the best right-handed hitter in the American League, and one of the game’s truly elite power hitters.
Will the inevitable turnaround be significant enough for the Tigers to advance to the postseason for the 2nd straight year?
Yes. But only if Doug Fister comes back strong.