Detroit Tigers: A.J. Hinch is doing an impeccable job in first season

(David Richard-USA TODAY Sports)
(David Richard-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Detroit Tigers hired manager A.J. Hinch this offseason to be the boss of this team as the rebuild trudges on. Entering the second half on a high note, it seems like Hinch deserves some serious praise.

Many of the Detroit Tigers faithful were not so thrilled with the hiring. With Hinch having involvement with the Houston Astros and the sign-stealing scandal, things were not in his favor on a coaching market.

It seemed like an all-but signed deal between Hinch and the Chicago White Sox, who opted to hire longtime manager Tony La Russa instead. The Tigers would swoop in and be able to hire Hinch, who was a phenomenal pickup.

He’s shown that so far in his first season managing the Tigers organization. Rebuild or not, there are things that stick out with this team that should have fans excited. The team currently sits 46-51 on the season, being just two games behind Cleveland for the second spot in the American League (AL) Central.

The White Sox have things pretty much on lock-in first, but the Tigers are keeping things interesting and playing far better baseball than most would have probably expected.

Detroit Tigers manager A.J. Hinch is having an exceptional first season.

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No, there’s no postseason race. No, there’s no World Series run. No, there’s not even competition for a division title. But Hinch is working with this group and getting things going in the right direction.

The Tigers are a “competitive” baseball team. They are nothing special and are not competitive in terms of the postseason, but they aren’t the brutal team they were in 2019.

The team is responding well to Hinch and the way he operates, pushing guys, motivating the younger crowd, and getting the team to continue to try to perform well rather than just mail it in.

If anyone was on Twitter for the Tigers’ recent series sweep of the Minnesota Twins, it was pretty clear that the fanbase was bought in once again. Comerica Park was buzzing; the fans were excited and bought in.

While this does not all come from Hinch alone, without him, things could be going vastly different. Also, it seems that Hinch grasps the dimensions of the Tigers ballpark and manages to that. With triples alley in right-center and a speedster-friendly ballpark, he has coached that way.

The team is aggressive on the basepaths looking to nab the extra-90 feet running hard when the ball is hit in the gap, forcing teams to execute clean cuts and relays. It may sound like summer ball team stuff, but it’s these things that can make or break a defense.

Beyond that, Hinch is an aggressive manager; the team is letting guys run rather than selling out for bombs and hoping to manufacture runs from the long ball. The team has 59 stolen bases which beats the 2019 total, and they are on pace to break the 2018 total as well.

The bottom line is, in his first year, Hinch has shown a lot to like. While some of the fanbase may still be waiting with pitchforks and torches due to Hinch’s involvement in the Astros’ cheating scandal… he’s done great things so far.

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With plenty of to be excited for in the coming seasons, having Hinch at the helm makes it even more exciting. Hinch was and will continue to be an excellent hire by the Tigers organization.