After falling well short of expectations in 2022, the Detroit Tigers are already making changes to prepare for 2023.
The Tigers started by firing general manager Al Avila in August, but they'll also have new leadership on the field next year as well, according to manager A.J. Hinch.
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The biggest shifts for Detroit will be at hitting coach after the team's spectacular ineptitude at the plate in 2022. The Tigers fielded a historically bad offense and finished near the bottom in virtually every batting category.
As such, hitting coaches Scott Coolbaugh and Josh Paul are gone, while assistant hitting coach Mike Hessman has been reassigned to player development. Detroit hopes that new voices and eyes in this department can repair its clearly-broken offense.
Rejuvenating the lineup will go a long way towards improving the Tigers, who finished one game out of last place in the AL Central at 66-96. The team was expected by many to compete for a Wild Card spot this year in a weak division after a busy offseason, only to be dragged down by their horrendous offense. Nobody hit more than 17 home runs and only three players reached 100 hits.
New leadership will hopefully get the offense back on track, especially high-profile busts such as Javier Baez and Spencer Torkelson. Both were poised to anchor Detroit's lineup this year, but Baez cratered after signing a massive free-agent contract and Torkelson floundered in his first MLB season. Perhaps new coaches will be able to institute fresh hitting philosophies and correct mechanical flaws that their predecessors missed.
At the end of the day, though, coaching can only fix so much. It's up to the players in the batter's box to execute their game plans and have good at-bats. If they don't, then it might be time to overhaul the roster rather than just the coaching staff.