20 Reasons To Be Excited For Tigers' 2020 Season

Believe it or not, Detroit might have a shot.

Will Burchfield
June 25, 2020 - 1:48 pm
Categories: 

Baseball is back, three words we've waited a long while to write. The Tigers are back, too, four words we've waited longer -- much longer -- to celebrate. Between the sport's nine-month layoff, the potential chaos of a 60-game season, and the general feeling that the Tigers are finally on the upswing, there's a real sense of anticipation for baseball in Detroit this season. 

When's the last time we could say that? 

Here are 20 reasons to be excited about the 2020 season.

1. Baseball. It's back. It's back!! Sure, a 60-game season is farcical and we probably won't respect the winner of the World Series, but there will be baseball this summer. And what would summer be without it? 

2. The best thing about a farcical season? The Tigers actually have a shot. "I don’t know what’s going to happen over 60 games," said Matthew Boyd. "The good news is, nobody else does either."

3. Speaking of Boyd, what will he do for an encore this year? He morphed into an ace in the first half of last season, then learned from his lumps in the second half. He came to spring training with a fine-tuned repertoire. Now he gets to unleash it. 

4. Remember Michael Fulmer? 2016 Rookie of the Year and 2017 All-Star? He's back, and he'll be pitching pain-free for the first time in years. If Fulmer rediscovers his arm, the Tigers could rediscover a big of their future. 

5. While we're talking pitchers, let's talk Spencer Turnbull. Yeah, the guy who led the majors in losses last year. He also struck out a batter per inning. He's got electric stuff, and now he's got a veteran catcher to throw to in Austin Romine. 

6. Remember Miguel Cabrera? 2012 Triple Crown winner? Okay, he's not back, but Miggy looked closer to his old self in spring training than he has in years. And a shorter season works to his advantage. It's time for the Big Man to turn back the clock. 

7. There's no better soundtrack to summer than -- shameless plug! -- Tigers baseball on 97.1 The Ticket. And there's no better compliment to hot dogs and -- extra shameless plug!! -- cold Miller Lite than Dan Dickerson. 

8. The Tigers get 20 games against the NL Central, maybe the deepest division in baseball. The Cardinals, Cubs, Brewers and Reds all look like contenders. It'll be fun to see how Detroit stacks up. 

9. And if it isn't, at least we'll get to feast our eyes on Christian Yelich, the NL leader in WAR over the past two seasons and one of the most exciting players in baseball. 

10. It's always a good time for a trip to Wrigley Field. 

11. Remember Nicholas Castellanos? Noted critic of Comerica Park? He'll be back this summer, and you're lying if you don't want to see him hit a 419' fly ball to the warning track in dead center. You're lying. 

12. The Tigers center fielder right now is JaCoby Jones. Their center fielder of the future may well be Riley Greene. But don't sleep on Victor Reyes, who hit .325 in the final 50 games of 2019. He's got a chance to alter the discussion moving forward. 

13. Casey Mize...

14. Matt Manning...

15. ...and Tarik Skubal are knocking on the door of the majors. It behooves the Tigers to give them a shot. This is what we've been waiting for. 

16. Now imagine those three plus Kumar Rocker, the Vanderbilt flamethrower projected to go first overall in next year's draft. If the Tigers do wind up with the No. 1 pick again, it'll only cost us 60 games of torment. Painless, really. 

17. Since we're back on the topic of pitchers, how about Daniel Norris? For the first time in a while, he has some wind in his sails entering the season. As the Tigers stretch him back out, let's see if he can work deeper into games. 

18. Ron Gardenhire says he wants to cut down on his, uhm, banter with the umps this season. That's what he says. When he inevitably breaks his rule, empty stadiums will amplify every word that comes out of his mouth. 

19. Did you miss home runs? I missed home runs. The Tigers hit the fewest in the AL last season. So they poached two sluggers from the Twins who combined for 48 bombs in 2019 in C.J. Cron and Jonathan Schoop. 48 more would be nice. 

20. There's someone we're not talking about now who we'll be talking about in three months. Someone like Turnbull or Reyes in 2019. Even someone like Boyd. Someone who takes us by surprise. The unknown is the best part about baseball. 

And baseball is back.