For the Detroit Tigers sixth ranked prospect, Isaac Paredes hitting has never been an issue. Paredes can rake with the best of them. Fresh off of posting huge numbers in the Mexican winter league. Paredes arrived in Lakeland Florida and the Tigers are ready and willing to allow him to earn a roster spot. Why? Because Isaac Paredes can help the Tigers.
Isaac Paredes will play in his first Grapefruit League game on Wednesday. This after sitting out the appropriate amount of time coming from Mexico to Florida due to MLB’s COVID guidelines.
Detroit Tigers first year manager A.J. Hinch said Paredes will start at third base, his usual position, on Thursday, then play second base this weekend. Paredes can also play the outfield.
Where Isaac Paredes will actually end up playing is a great question. But when a young player can hit like Paredes, you find a way to get him on the field. One thing it does is it gives Paredes multiple pathways to the roster.
A.J. Hinch said he feels that it would do both Paredes and the Detroit Tigers no good to send the young slugger to Triple-A. That any further development should and needs to take place in Detroit.
It was known when the Tigers traded for Isaac Paredes he was projected to be a very good hitter with power to all fields. In Mexico this past offseason Paredes had a confidence building winter ball season.
Paredes who hit just .220 with a .568 OPS in 108 plate appearances for the Detroit Tigers last summer, also had memorable moments and encouraging signs that pointed that he was close to producing more.
Then came winter ball in Mexico, and Isaac Paredes put on a show. Posting .379 average in 145 at-bats. Isaac also was first in on base percentage with .480 , he had doubles 17 , and on base plus slugging 1.060. He walked an eye popping 27 times against just 12 strikeouts in 177 plate appearances. Isaac Paredes also won the batting title.
This is what Tigers manager A.J. Hinch means when he said Triple-A would not do Paredes and the Detroit Tigers any good. Hinch may be right.
When current Detroit Tigers manager A.J. Hinch took over as manager of a young Houston Astros team who was starting to come out of a long rebuild (sound familiar?) he did so by unleashing the young Astros pitching staff. He did not limit pitches or put inning limits on the staff. Now on the first day of spring training, Hinch said he is going to do the same with young Tigers pitchers.
Just yesterday, Detroit Tigers General Manager, Al Avila said this will be the season that Matt Manning will be pitching in Detroit. Be it out of spring training or at some point early in the season. Manning will join top organization prospects Casey Mize and Tarik Skubal giving the Tigers and the fan base a true look at the future.
Back to A.J. Hinch. This would appear on the surface to be a case of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Meaning, If “taking the kid gloves off” young Tigers pitching prospects worked in Houston then Hinch is hedging a bet it will work again in Detroit.
New Tigers pitching coach Chris Fetter will be charged with overseeing the talented group of young arms. Yet, Fetter will be getting instructions from Hinch. The age old question in baseball is how do you handle young pitchers?
Both Casey Mize and Tarik Skubal, spent time with the Tigers last summer. Both top pitching prospects took the typical rookie pitching lumps. With time under their belts the two enter spring training with a spot in the Tigers starting rotation.
Like the Detroit Tigers veteran pitchers, Mize and Skubal will not be limited. A.J. Hinch feels that the way young pitchers get better is by innings pitched and allowing the pitcher to fall flat on their face when they have a bad outing. That is how pitchers learn.
This is one storyline to keep an eye on during spring training and into the 2021 Detroit Tigers season.
Sports is a business of second chances, and sometimes more. The Detroit Tigers are in the market for a new manager with the retirement of Ron Gardenhire. Tigers general manager Al Avila said he is willing to consider two manager who are both suspended because of cheating scandals. From a national standpoint this could seem dicey. From an industry that is more forgiving it should be no surprise.
Alex Cora, who was fired as manager of the Boston Red Sox for his part in a cheating scandal that netted the Red Sox a World Series Championship is being considered by Avila and the Tigers front office. It was Cora who was also in Houston and spearheaded the Astros cheating scandal when they won the 2017 World Series.
A.J. Hinch who was the manager of the Houston Astros, has accepted his part in the cheating scandal that rocked Major League Baseball. Hinch was also fired by the Astros. Hinch said he understands he was the leader and remained silent as the cheating was going on.
Al Avila also said that he has a long list of names he will consider. Something of note, A.J. Hinch’s suspension ends when the World Series is over in late October. Al Avila said he will not open interviews until, you got it late October.
Another point of interest in A.J. Hinch is that he is widely respected inside baseball circles. Yes, he absolutely should have spoken up and come clean about the goings on with the Astros. But, Hinch’s work with a then rebuilding Astros team beginning in 2015 lead them to a championship.
The Detroit Tigers of today nearly mirror the 2015 Houston Astros. A.J. Hinch has said if he had to do it all again he would have put an end to the cheating. He did not making him a rather interesting figure in the Detroit Tigers managerial search.
Other names Al Avila is said to be pondering are Lloyd McClendon, former Marlins and Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez, Kansas City Royals third base coach Vance Wilson, Pittsburgh Pirates bench coach Don Kelly,K.C. Royals bench coach Pedro Grifol, former Miami Marlins manager Mike Redmond, New York Mets bench coach Hensley Meulens and Chicago White Sox bench coach Joe McEwing.
Of those managers only Hinch has lead a rebuilding team out of a rebuild into the World Series. Tigers fans, if A.J. Hinch is named manger from that standpoint he would be a very good hire. From an integrity standpoint I believe it would be a good hire as again Hinch has accepted responsibility for what went down in Houston.