Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

Same Owner, Different Teams

01/28/2019 at 1:46pm EST

Bob Wojnowski on the Detroit Tigers but if you want to insert Wings instead of Tigers and the hockey prospects instead of the baseball prospects.

Funny how both Ilitch owned teams are in the same boat.

The Tigers are selling a narrative and buying time, and most observers understand it and accept it — for now. But, for how long?

Rebuilds in pro sports are ugly, often unavoidable, seldom brief. Generally, fans will be patient, under one condition: They see promising pieces of the future.

This is where the pressure will rise on Tigers GM Al Avila, and this is when it’ll hit — in less than two years. No, the Tigers won’t be pennant contenders by 2020, but they can’t be another 90-plus-loss team. They can’t be plugging in veterans just to fill out the roster. They can’t be talking about all the young arms in Toledo and Erie, as they’re forced to do now, with spring training a couple weeks away.

Fittingly, 2020 will be the year for hindsight. By then, guys such as left fielder Christin Stewart, third baseman Jeimer Candelario, center fielder JaCoby Jones and catcher Grayson Greiner have to be established as legitimate major-leaguers. Some of the Tigers’ prime pitching prospects — No. 1 pick Casey Mize, Beau Burrows — need to be close to ready. Just loudly declaring a rebuild, as Avila did two years ago, doesn’t buy years of scrutiny-free development.


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Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977. No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y. Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation. There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature. Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that.

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