Detroit Tigers: Prorated service time during 2020 season unfortunate

(Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
(Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

Having prorated service time during the 2020 season is very unfortunate for the Detroit Tigers and their fans.

The 2020 Major League Baseball season should not count ‘service time’ during this unprecedented shortened season.  This may be a bias opinion understanding I am a Detroit Tigers fan and have nothing else to look forward too other than the plethora of young prospects in the system.

During the upcoming shortened season, every day a player is on the Tigers roster will be multiplied by 2.8 as it’s prorated to equal a full season.

This has become the darkest-sports year of my life; I’m sure it’s the same for many of you.  Covid-19 is much more severe than just sports, but I need to say, I’ll never take sports for granted moving forward.  The Detroit Tigers are a significant part of my summer, even considering the watered-down product on the field I’m forced to follow.

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The Detroit Tigers under the direction of Chris Ilitch is an organization that’s wholly focused on shedding salary, burying prospects in the minor leagues to manage their service time with the hopes of one day bringing the highly touted prospects up all at once while they remain a bargain.  At that time, I’d expect the Tigers to be once again willing to spend money on some free agents to fill out their young roster and potentially make another run at the American League pennant and World Series.

With the unfortunate circumstances of the year 2020, MLB has been forced to implement a short, sprint-like 60-game season, also doing away with all minor league baseball altogether this season.  Teams will have 30-man rosters along with a 30-man taxi squad where they can call up players as injuries occur.  The 30-man taxi squads, in most cases, will be located out of town, in Detroit’s case, Toledo, where the teams’ triple-A affiliate is established.

For the majority of the time, these taxi squad teams will be playing exhibition games against themselves.  They won’t travel and play other taxi squads as they try and narrow the risk of any COVID-19 infestation.  The taxi squad is made up of triple and double-A players.

For one year, and one year only, all bets should be off.  MLB officials should allow anyone on the 60-man roster to play, but service time should be completely frozen for the year.  I understand the young players will quickly object because they’d need to wait an extra year before they can cash-in. In baseball, many times, players are in their mid-20s before signing their first lucrative professional contract.

When you think of the alternative, is it that bad?  It’s 60 games.  I’d assume many young prospects; if given a choice would instead opt for a taste in the big leagues without having any service time count rather than practice against the same 29 other players each day, they’d oblige.

Service time counting in Detroit will prevent the Tigers from starting the season with Casey Mize in the starting rotation rather than Tyler Alexander.  Also, I’d love the opportunity to see Riley Greene, Spencer Tolkerson, Tarik Skubal, and Matt Manning in Detroit for 60-games.

Next. 3 position players to watch during 2020 shortened season. dark

Instead, we get the ‘luxury’ of suffering through 60 games of Ivan Nova, and Alexander making starts.  I guess any baseball is better than none, right?