Story by Kara Wheeler, Reporter
After a three month lockout in Major League Baseball, collective bargaining agreements have been settled and player compensations renegotiated. After resuming the schedule on March 10, the Detroit Tigers look ahead to a promising season with some rising stars.
Among them are Riley Greene and Spencer Torkelson; the Tiger’s pair of top hitting prospects. Outfielder Greene, a dynamic player and consistent batter with a .333 average in the spring season, was selected fifth by the Tigers in the 2019 MLB draft. Torkelson, an Arizona State graduate and first round pick in the 2020 MLB draft, averages a .313 batting average.
At their game against the Phillies on March 26, the Tigers’ duo withstood a grueling 10 pitch battle for Greene and eight pitch fight for Torkelson, one after another. Both drew walks at bat facing a 4-0 deficit at the bottom of the third inning, leading to the Tiger’s first run of the game.
Greene and Torkelson are two of the top five hitting prospects in all of baseball. Miguel Cabrera, a Tiger namesake, has vouched for the dynamic duo to start this season in the majors, confirming his move to designated hitter on the team’s roster. Only time will tell if the Tiger’s coaching staff agrees.
But all players are not so lucky. With the beginning of the season, cuts are inevitably made. On March 28, four players were cut from the lineup, all still fighting for 14 spots left. Although cuts were made, the Tigers also spent money – $200 million to be exact – during the offseason. The payout? A catcher in Tucker Barnhart, shortstop in Javier Baez, two starting pitchers and relief pitcher Andrew Chafin.
Before the lockout, the Tigers had a 33-game spring training season. Now, they are playing in the Grapefruit League, in a four-team pod-format with the Phillies, Yankees and the Blue Jays. Opening day is scheduled for April 8 at Comerica Park against the Chicago White Sox.
Check out this exciting Tigers team at Comerica Park all summer long!