Detroit Tigers: An optimistic outlook for the elusive 2020 season

(Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /

Take a look at the optimism that could come from a 2020 Detroit Tigers season.

While Major League Baseball, Commissioner Rob Manfred, and the Major League Baseball Players’ Association continue to fight it out over a 2020 season, the Detroit Tigers stay in the dark. Though there has been a lot of negative talk regarding the 2020 season, here are some optimistic ideas.

First off, it truly does seem that hope for a 2020 Major League Baseball season is dwindling by the day, but the Tigers should remain optimistic and look to use this as an opportunity to help their rebuild.

Given the construction of the organization’s 40-man roster, there are a few different roster moves that could be made to help benefit the organization in a shortened season while they continue to work through a rebuild.

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A shortened Detroit Tigers season means opportunities for the youngsters.

If a shortened season is agreed upon, it would mean that pitching staffs would become quite unique, and this seems like the perfect opportunity to make some changes to the 40-man roster and give the youngsters a shot.

First and foremost, arms like Beau Burrows, Anthony Castro, and Franklin Perez could get called up and added to a “taxi squad,” which has been commonly brought up in the negotiations.

However, they should start awarding chances in the big leagues to players like Matt Manning.

Beyond Manning, a shortened season would allow players like Alex Faedo, Casey Mize, or even Tarik Skubal to get a taste of the big leagues.

This would not mean adding all these arms to the rotation, but also bringing them into the big leagues, allowing them to get some work in is helpful. It could even just be bringing these guys in during specific situations for three batters or giving them a few innings here and there.

Letting the young arms start to acclimate and get used to big-league talent seems like it might be beneficial, and a shortened season that feels like a “throw-away” season at this point might be a smart move for the Tigers future.

Beyond the pitchers, the Tigers could use this as an opportunity to start working in players like Sergio Alcantara, Willi Castro, and Isaac Paredes on a consistent basis in the big leagues. A shortened season just allows more of a chance to experiment and give these players opportunities in the big leagues.

A highly farfetched idea that sounds a lot better in fantasy land, but it involved the Tigers’ recent first overall selection. As Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press suggested, Tigers fans could wish to see Spencer Torkelson in the big leagues during the 2020 season.

In any regular season, this would sound like someone who is living out a dream, but in a shortened 2020 season that is wacky as it is, bringing Torkelson up to the big leagues, this quickly may not be as “impossible” as one would expect.

The abilities are there, it is still quite a farfetched idea, but it is just another reason to remain optimistic that there is a 2020 season. The minute an agreement is reached, the “call-up Torkelson” cries can begin to rain down on the Tigers organization.

This all rings true, especially if the Minor League Baseball (MiLB) season is cancelled. It may be a stretch to see some of the arms mentioned or players like Kody Clemens or Riley Greene for that matter, but it is worth the exploration as an opportunity to help this rebuild.

The Detroit Tigers record would not matter, a high draft pick helps, but growth is key.

At the end of the 2020 season (if played), the 2021 MLB Draft is going to look different than usual and different than the 2020 MLB Draft. Another high draft pick would likely be the result, but tanking for the first overall selection is not that big of a deal.

The 2020 season may bring out some random teams who get hot at the right time, and it catapults them into a postseason run, but do not expect that from the Tigers. Even being optimistic, the odds of that happening are slim to none.

The focus for the Tigers should be the same as in recent years, growth. As mentioned above, letting the younger players get chances in the big leagues is what 2020 should be made about for the Tigers.

Allowing these players a chance to grow into roles in the big leagues in a shortened season would be one heck of a start. It would allow them to almost “baby step” their way into the big leagues as the Tigers organization loves to do so often.

For example, the Tigers selected Beau Burrows 22nd overall in the 2015 MLB Draft, two picks later the Los Angeles Dodgers selected Walker Buehler who has already been a big-league all-star. Obviously, players take VERY development paths, but the Tigers have been known to let a prospect marinate a bit longer than necessary.

This short season would be a time to let prospects get their feet wet and hopefully further develop for the future and help the health of the rebuild. These are all thoughts of optimism, meaning that this would require the Tigers’ front office to get the ball rolling, make some roster moves.

This would also require the Tigers even to have a 2020 season to play in, which seems like it is less and less likely to happen. But being optimistic, there could be a lot of positives that come from the shortened season if there is an agreement reached soon.

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The Detroit Tigers should remain optimistic for a 2020 season, given the positive outcome that it could have on the future of this Tigers rebuild.