Detroit Tigers: AJ Hinch may have his path back to the majors

With his suspension nearing an end, AJ Hinch could have an avenue back to a major league bench with the Detroit Tigers.

The Detroit Tigers need to find a new manager. With Ron Gardenhire‘s surprising announcement that he was retiring immediately on Saturday, the Tigers are left in search of a skipper for 2021. Lloyd McClendon is taking over for the rest of the year, and has seven years of experience as a major league manager, but is hardly an exciting option for a team hoping to contend soon.

But there is one name on the list of possible candidates that is certain to grab attention. According to Jon Morosi, the Tigers are expected to consider former Astros manager AJ Hinch for their opening.

In theory, Hinch can return to the game at the conclusion of the 2020 season. His suspension, as handed down by Rob Manfred, ends with the final out of the 2020 World Series.

Related Story: Gardenhire retires effective immediately

Hinch does have experience with a rebuilding roster. He took over the Astros in 2015, helping to guide a young roster back to the postseason. While his accomplishments over the past three seasons as tainted by their cheating scandal, the Astros did win over 100 games each year, winning the 2017 World Series and reaching the 2019 Fall Classic.

The Tigers opening is one that is certain to attract a lot of interest. While they have finished above .500 just once in the past six seasons, there is plenty of talent on the horizon. Detroit boasts a quartet of intriguing young arms, headlined by Casey Mize and Matt Manning. Spencer Torkelson and Riley Greene should fill the middle of the lineup in the next couple of years. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

All the Tigers need is to find the right skipper for the ship. Gardenhire had been that, a respected manager who had plenty of experience with younger players. That could now fall to Hinch, who has had his own level of success, albeit tainted, in the majors.

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The Detroit Tigers are expected to consider AJ Hinch for their open managerial role. His return to a major league bench could be around the corner.