The Detroit Tigers season is already full of uncertainty, but with the outbreak of COVID-19, could this lead to premature call-ups due to a shortened season?
The short answer to this is Yes. The Detroit Tigers are going to be put into a delightful spot with the 2020 season, depending on if there is big-league baseball in 2020, and depending on how the league structures the season.
With the outbreak of COVID-19 still affecting areas all over the country, sports will be halted for the foreseeable future. Assuming the best-case scenario, when it does pick back up, it will be a shortened season meaning, fewer off days and more doubleheaders for the Tigers and other teams to navigate through.
Immediately coming to mind in terms of the Tigers would be the state of their rebuild and how a shortened season would impact them. They have a ton of young pitchers who are on the brink of getting a call-up or even earning a trial basis in 2020.
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With the season being shortened, this means that the rosters will likely be expanded, Tigers MLive writer Evan Woodberry suggested that even the 40-man roster would need to be expanded.
Beyond the veterans, the need for fresh arms throughout a season is going to increase, with shortened time and more doubleheaders. This means someone like Beau Burrows, Anthony Castro, and Tarik Skubal could receive the call-up maybe a little earlier.
Most of these guys are on track to make a debut in the big leagues this season, but with the shortened season, it may happen sooner than later and be less of a smooth transition than the organization would like to keep this rebuild running smoothly.
Even though losing 100 plus games on the year is awful, the development with the young kids in the big leagues and throughout the minors is crucial to this rebuild. Beyond the names mentioned above, the Tigers may call-up names like Matt Manning and Casey Mize, which may be a bit premature.
Hopefully, even with a shortened season, the minor leaguers can get going and play ball this summer, because if not, there may be quite a few call-ups. These call-ups may be a little earlier than the organization would like, but given the situation, it may have to be done.
It is an uncertain time in the sports world, and the Detroit Tigers may have to expedite part of the rebuild by calling players up earlier than they would like to.