As minor leagues begin, Detroit Tigers manager AJ Hinch sends message

Manager AJ Hinch wants the Detroit Tigers to make significant improvements in the coming weeks. The minor league season kicked off on Tuesday and Hinch has already spoken on the phone with Triple-A Toledo manager Tom Prince and Double-A Erie manager Arnie Beyeler.

“You’d be amazed at what a five-minute conversation can do for you and for them,” Hinch said Wednesday.

The Tigers (8-22) start the second of three games against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, near the end of a nine-game road trip. They’ve lost six in a row and 16 of their last 18 games to go with a league-worst .199 batting average.

So, Hinch sent a message.

“The pressure is still building at this level,” Hinch said. “You should always have a little curiosity that we are all replaceable. We all fight for our day to day job on how we prepare, compete and fight. I don’t think anyone should ever consider themselves. immune to the pressure that can be exerted by the minor leagues. “

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Tigers pitcher Buck Farmer hands the ball over to manager AJ Hinch as he leaves after a grand slam from Yankees right-back Aaron Judge in the fourth inning of the Tigers' 10-0 loss to the Yankees on Friday, April 30, 2021 at Yankee Stadium.

Coming in on Wednesday, Miguel Cabrera is stuck in a 0-for-23 drop with 13 strikeouts. Earning $ 30 million this season, the 38-year-old is batting average of .105. Other low-point players include outfielders JaCoby Jones (.148) and Victor Reyes (.164), backup wide receiver Grayson Greiner (.179), fielder Jonathan Schoop (.181) and midfielder second baseman Willi Castro (.196).

The Tigers scored seven points in Tuesday’s four-point loss to the Red Sox, but they went 4 for 15 with runners in goal position and blocked eight men on goal. Detroit made five goals but struck out 13 goals.

“There are always ways to choose the positive or the negative no matter what kind of attitude you wake up with,” Hinch said. “Certainly, from a confidence standpoint, it’s good to put together a good offensive team night. At the end of the day, the bottom line is you win or you lose. That’s what we do. are looking for daily., but I was satisfied with the quality of the at-bats for the most part. “

[ Tigers get a few bats going, but need Cabrera to snap out of funk at plate ]

Toledo doesn’t offer many intimidating hitting options, seemingly limited to infielder Isaac Paredes, first baseman Renato Nunez, fielder Zack Short and center fielder Derek Hill. Detroit is expected to recover outfielder Nomar Mazara (left abdominal strain) from his rehab assignment by next week.

Receiver Jake Rogers, second baseman Kody Clemens and outfielder Daz Cameron – soon to be returning from a broken right wrist – need more time to get comfortable. Rogers and Cameron have MLB experience, while Clemens awaits his debut.

“Every opportunity you get, you want to take it, whether you’re JaCoby or Victor, a lot of our guys,” Hinch said. “The buzz and the discussions around the start of the minor league season is going to add and apply a little bit of pressure. More than anything, it’s the opportunities available to you at this level that define the next opportunities for you.”

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Another area in need of a helping hand is the bullpen. The Tigers have a league-worst 6.75 ERA of their relievers. Closer up, Gregory Soto and high leverage reliever Bryan Garcia are throwing well, but guys like Derek Holland (13.00 ERA), Buck Farmer (11.81 ERA), rookie Alex Lange (7.88 ERA) , Daniel Norris (6.52 ERA) and Jose Cisnero (6.35) ERA) did not meet expectations.

In Toledo, there are several pitchers vying for a big league opportunity, including Erasmo Ramirez, Jason Foley, Logan Shore, Robbie Ross Jr., Ian Krol, Kyle Funkhouser, Beau Burrows and Drew Hutchison.

Funkhouser and Burrows are already on the 40-man roster, along with other Triple-A relievers (also former MLB relievers) Joe Jimenez and Rony Garcia.

“Look, when things are going well or not well at the major league level, everyone can feel it,” Hinch said. “We work for the same organization, and you want to feel connected, top to bottom, bottom to top, and across different areas. I think I learned the value of this by starting my career after playing in the front office and seeing firsthand how important it is to have people all-in.

“When you’re not doing well, it’s probably more important to communicate with everyone and get their feedback on what they see from afar and what their team has to offer – in the sense of the Tom Prince’s Triple-A team for us in the big leagues. “

Evan Petzold is a sports reporter for the Detroit Free Press. Contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold. Learn more about the Detroit Tigers and sign up for our Tigers newsletter.

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