I like Gregory Soto a lot and I'm really happy for him. He’s a wild man with a fastball that peaks in the triple digits. He rarely ever knows where it’s going but when you got heat like this guy does, sometimes that doesn’t really matter. I enjoy him and I’m happy that he made the All-Star team. Do I feel like he was deserving? Not really but it doesn’t matter to me because quite frankly, I don’t really think anyone on the Tigers was necessarily deserving, and that’s coming from someone who likes the fact that every team has to be represented. I think that’s a cool rule. If it was up to me I probably would’ve picked Jonathan Schoop. The guy has been in the league for a while and had an amazing month of June where he was one of the best hitters in all of baseball. I probably would’ve gone with him but we are splitting hairs at that point. Soto has had a nice season, and coming into yesterday he was pitching the best baseball of his career. In 17 appearances dating back to May 17th, Soto had a 0.50 ERA and a 0.588 WHIP with a whole lot of strikeouts. It seemed like he was really coming into his own. Yesterday, after being handed a 4 run lead against the White Sox, he proceeded to implode. His command was bad, his pitch selection was bad, his location was bad, he was really a mess and he nearly cost the Tigers a series win after he gave up a 3-run home run to Jose Abreu to make it a 1 run ball game. Jose Cisnero, who has also been lights out over the last month or so, came in and extinguished the flames, earning the save after only one pitch.
I don’t mean to be coming across as negative. In fact, I think the Tigers just played some of the best baseball of the entire season over the weekend. I did not think that they would be able to take 2 out of 3 against a really good White Sox team, and yet somehow they did. But considering the way things have gone over the last several seasons, it’s kind of poetic that this team's only All-Star found out he made the team literally minutes after his worst outing of the season.
In all seriousness though, I think that this is really cool for Soto. Two years ago this guy was a spot starter with a live arm who couldn’t field this position worth a crap. Now he’s an All-Star closer. I will continue to have reservations about the Tigers rebuild, but I think it is fair to say that so far, they have done a pretty solid job of developing some of their young pitching. Casey Mize is coming into his own on this year, Tarik Skubal, for as inconsistent as he has been, has looked way better over the last two months. Spencer Turnbull before his injury looked really solid and now Gregory Soto is an All-Star. I don’t think the Tigers are that far away. There’s good pieces here. I write these blogs so I can speak Chris Ilitch spending into existence. This isn’t 2019 anymore. This is a team that is 29-22 since May 8th. They just went 6-4 in a 10 game stretch against the Astros, Indians, and White Sox. Some legitimately good things are happening at Comerica Park for the first time in a while, and despite his outing yesterday, you can add Gregory Soto to that list of good things. Enjoy Colorado dude!