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Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

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Goodbye, MSU | Adam Steinhauer
Goodbye, MSU | Adam Steinhauer
Adam Steinhauer, Marketing Director • May 10, 2024
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Goodbye, MSU | Adam Steinhauer
Goodbye, MSU | Adam Steinhauer
Adam Steinhauer, Marketing Director • May 10, 2024
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Eagle Spirit dancer Migizii Kwe dances with the audience at this years East Lansing Art Festival. Photo credit: Samantha Ku/WDBM
2024 East Lansing Art Festival Q&A
Samantha Ku, Writer/Volunteer • May 18, 2024

Heather Majano is the Art Festival & Arts Initiative Coordinator under the East Lansing Parks, Recreation & Arts department, she...

The State Logo
The State – 04/19/24
April 19, 2024
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Goodbye, MSU | Adam Steinhauer
Goodbye, MSU | Adam Steinhauer
Adam Steinhauer, Marketing Director • May 10, 2024
View All
Eagle Spirit dancer Migizii Kwe dances with the audience at this years East Lansing Art Festival. Photo credit: Samantha Ku/WDBM
2024 East Lansing Art Festival Q&A
Samantha Ku, Writer/Volunteer • May 18, 2024

Heather Majano is the Art Festival & Arts Initiative Coordinator under the East Lansing Parks, Recreation & Arts department, she...

The State Logo
The State – 04/19/24
April 19, 2024

Inside the Detroit Tigers start to 2024

Inside the Detroit Tigers start to 2024

EAST LANSING- Fresh off of a promising second place finish in the American League Central in 2023, the future looked to be bright in the Motor City.

First baseman Spencer Torkelson hit 30 home runs and left fielder Riley Greene hit .288 as excitement returned to Comerica Park for the first time in almost a decade.

In 2024, the Tigers aimed to build on 2023’s successes while expecting further development from their nucleus of young talent.

A quiet free agency in Motown saw President of Operations Scott Harris brought in veteran starters Jack Flaherty and Kenta Maeda, as the priority in Detroit shifted to bolstering an already-strong rotation for Tigers head coach AJ Hinch.

The Tigers lineup desperately needed experienced bats to complement the youth culture, which was accomplished through the acquisition of 35-year-old outfielder Mark Canha.

Canha has opened his season with a .240 batting average and .773 on base plus slugging (OPS) in line with his career numbers, which include a .250 batting average and a .772 OPS across his nine year career.

Even with the addition of Canha, the Tigers lineup has been underperforming to open 2024.  As a lineup the Tigers are 20th in OPS, 19th in batting average, and 25th in home runs.

Just a year removed from hitting 31 home runs, Torkelson entered a major slump to open the new year. The former No. 1 overall pick went over 130 consecutive at-bats without leaving the yard.

Despite the shaky start, Torkelson has begun to heat up, hitting three home runs over his last seven games with an 853 OPS over that time frame.

Riley Greene’s nine homers and .821 OPS both lead the Tigers among qualified hitters. 24-year-old rookie Wenceel Perez has been a welcome addition to this Detroit lineup, hitting .301 with a .904 OPS to open his short MLB tenure.

Perez has made up for the lack of production from Javier Báez in 2024. Báez, whom the Tigers signed to a six year, $140 million deal in 2021, is second to last among all qualified hitters in the MLB with a .524 OPS.

Báez is not the only crucial Tiger struggling, as top prospects Colt Keith and Parker Meadows both kicked off their time in the majors hitting below .200, leading to Meadows being optioned back to AAA.

The Tigers rotation however, did not experience the same adversity their lineup did. The Tigers sit seventh in the MLB in team earned run average (ERA), in large part due to a Cy Young-caliber season from ace Tarik Skubal. Skubal has dazzled thus far, as he is sixth in the majors in both strikeouts (66) and ERA (1.80)  becoming one of the most feared pitchers in all of baseball in 2024.

Skubal is not the only Tigers starter who has been red hot though; Reese Olson is also among the top 10 in the MLB in ERA.

The 24-year-old has a 2.09 ERA in 2024 en route to establishing himself as a long term complement to Skubal in the starting rotation. Flaherty has also been lights out in his own right in his inaugural season in Detroit, as his 72 strikeouts are third among all starters.

Reliever Jason Foley has cemented himself as the go-to option for Hinch out of the bullpen with ten saves.  The Tigers pitching has been the biggest bright spot on the young season which could only improve when Jackson Jobe gets called up and Casey Mize stays consistently healthy.

Through 46 games, the Tigers are sitting at 23-23 (.500) and fourth place in the AL Central.

The lack of run support for the pitchers has been a massive issue, as it is becoming more and more imperative for the Tigers to add bats before the MLB trade deadline.

The Tigers are only six and a half games back of the division lead, so in one of the weaker divisions in baseball, it would not be shocking to see the Tigers make a push toward the AL Central-leading Cleveland Guardians and the division crown.

One thing is for certain though; even if playoff baseball doesn’t return to Detroit this year, it will be returning to Comerica in the near future.

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