Connect with us


Detroit Tigers 2023 End-Of-Season Recap

Spencer Torkelson celebrates hitting a home run with teammate Riley Greene against the Houston Astros.

One team who is a nice surprise and could be a dark-horse contender in the 2024 season is the Detroit Tigers.

The Detroit Tigers, who find themselves in a weak AL Central division, actually are performing better than original expectations entering the season.

At the end of the season, Detroit finished with a 78-84 record, earning them second place in the Central. That mark is much better than original projections of finishing in the division cellar.

Looking ahead, the Tigers do have some positive momentum to build on as they get ready for next year. There is still some work to do in the off-season to address some important needs, however.

In the end, the Tigers look like they are in a similar position as they were to begin the second half.

But what is there to look forward to for the Detroit Tigers in the 2023 end-of-season recap? Let’s take a deeper look…

Offense A Bit Shaky, But Still Workable

Looking at the overall statistics, Detroit had their fair share of struggles at the plate in 2023. As a team, the Tigers have the third-fewest hits in the AL (1293), third-worst batting average (.236), third-fewest home runs (165), third-fewest runs (661), and bottom-five finishes in on-base percentage (.305, 11th in AL), slugging percentage (.382, 13th), and OPS (.687, 13th).

Final Season for a Key Cog of Detroit’s Success

But the 2023 season focused on the end of one longtime Tiger’s career. For those who are unaware, this season is the final ride for DH Miguel Cabrera. Cabrera, who has been with the Tigers since 2008, has hit many a milestone while in a Detroit uniform. And Cabrera is recognizable as one of the more dependable hitters in MLB history. Despite only playing in 98 games and posting just a .257/.322/.353 slash line this season, Miggy finishes with a career batting average of .306 (3174 career hits), 511 home runs, 1881 RBIs, .382 on-base percentage, .518 slugging percentage, and .901 OPS.

A two-time MVP, Cabrera is someone who can embrace the heart of a city and their fans. Not only that, but the longevity of his career is something that is also commendable.

A Couple of Young Players Beginning to Step Up

There are two younger players who are also emerging as intriguing players to watch for Detroit’s future. One player in particular who looks to be a Cabrera prototype is 1B Spencer Torkelson. The now-24-year-old is developing into a guy who can provide a lot of pop in his bat. In just his second season in the Majors, Torkelson slugged 31 home runs and tallied 94 RBIs on a .233/.313/.446 slash line. He also is the team leader for the season in hits (141), doubles (34), and walks (67).

Another player who also turned in a solid second season is young OF Riley Greene. Greene can play center and the corners and has an exciting bat to watch in the future. In 2023, Greene led the Tigers with a .288 batting average (109 hits) and .349 on-base percentage.

Yes, there will be some growing pains as the young guys continue to mature, but there looks to be plenty of excitement ahead in the Motor City.

Tigers Taking to the Mound

Pitchers Do a Good Job of Holding Their Own

Now, middle-of-the pack isn’t the best line to have, but it’s not the worst, either. Detroit placed ninth in the AL in ERA (4.24), while surrendering the sixth-fewest hits (1320), fifth-fewest home runs (187), and walking the fifth-fewest batters (476).

However, the strikeouts were only the 11th-most in the Junior Circuit by the Tigers staff (1374), a possible indicator that the team favors a pitch-to-contact approach.

One pitcher in particular who put together a very nice season is left-hander SP Tarik Skubal. The fourth-year pro finished with a 7-3 record, a career best 2.80 ERA, and a sub-0.9 WHIP. In 80.1 innings, the 26-year-old only allowed 58 hits and walked just 14 batters while striking out 102, equivalent to a strikeout-to-walk ratio better than 7.25-to-1. If a pitcher is able to accomplish that in a season, that makes him one of the more elite arms in the game.

Rodriguez Developing Ace Potential

Another lefty who is turning into the ace of the Tigers staff is Venezuela native SP Eduardo Rodriguez. In his second season in Detroit, Rodriguez compiled a 13-9 line with a career-best in both ERA (3.30) and WHIP (1.153) over 152.2 innings of work. He appears to be a Cy Young caliber pitcher again, and he can be a dependable leader for the Tigers’ staff if he chooses to return. Rodriguez can and likely will opt out of his contract.

Overall, the rotation looks to be a bright spot for the Tigers. Sure, they might not be quite as eye-catching as some of their AL Central foes, but with Rodriguez and Skubal in tow, this team has a solid staff that can take the ball every day and hold their own against some tough offenses.

Where Do the Tigers Go from Here?

Hey, for a team that was projected to finish at the bottom of the division, this Detroit Tigers team turned into a pleasant surprise in 2023. Unfortunately, with the retirement of Miguel Cabrera, that leaves the offense without a veteran leader. That should be priority number one looking ahead to the off-season. But if this team can build on the momentum, don’t be surprised if the Tigers end up being a dark-horse playoff team in 2024.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the 2023 season was a pretty good one, all things considered, for the Tigers. If they can just turn momentum into positive energy in 2024, the Tigers could once again make some serious noise. This off-season will be an important one in the Motor City.


Nate Powalie is a contributor for Back Sports Page. A 2022 graduate of Ashland University (Ashland, Ohio), Nate has five years of sports writing experience, and has gotten the chance to call sporting events for radio and live stream. Nate also works as a cashier and can be found on Twitter (@PNate22) and Facebook (Nate Powalie).

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Featured Articles

Featured Writers

More in Features