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Former Detroit Tigers reliever Joel Zumaya has been vocal about the team’s 2022 struggles. He didn’t hold back after Wednesday’s effort.
A.J. Hinch and Co. held a team meeting after a 13-0 loss to the White Sox on Wednesday afternoon — a game in which three position players pitched. It was as embarrassing as they come, and Hinch questioned the team’s effort both in the clubhouse and publicly.
Something has to change, and fast, or else this season will truly get away from them.
Zumaya was a member of the mid-2000’s Tigers teams which made it to the World Series under manager Jim Leyland. Speaking from experience, Zumaya claimed those Tigers faced a similar predicament, but Leyland demanded more.
Tigers: Joel Zumaya demands action, starting with front office
It’s important to note that Zumaya doesn’t hold any official position in Detroit. He’s merely a concerned former player who wants to watch a better product. Like most fans, he’s fed up after a five-year rebuild (I’m being generous) which was meant to round into form this year.
The end result has instead produced more frustration, and someone in the front office needs to be held accountable.
Zumaya pointed the finger straight at Al Avila, who makes most of the personnel decisions. Under Avila, Detroit rebuilt its entire roster, adding prospects to the farm system and drafting in the top-10 routinely. It has yet to produce MLB results.
To be fair to Avila, some of those prospects — namely the starting pitchers — are injured this year. Casey Mize is undergoing Tommy John surgery. Riley Greene is rehabbing in the minors. Spencer Torkelson, who was a unanimous No. 1 selection per most pundits, is struggling in his first taste of MLB action.
It’s not all his fault, but signing Javy Baez suddenly looks like a grave mistake. Miguel Cabrera and Tarik Skubal are about the only reasons to watch this team on a regular basis.
It’s natural to point the finger. Zumaya’s voice is loud, and fans will surely follow.