Zack Short, who is currently part of the New York Mets, envisions a promising future ahead for the Detroit Tigers.

Infielder Zack Short has joined a new team, but the memories he forged during the last three seasons with the Detroit Tigers remain indelible.

Acquired by the Tigers in a trade with the Chicago Cubs at the trade deadline in August 2020, Short played 179 games with the Tigers, registering a .204 batting average and hitting 13 home runs across 450 plate appearances. He also participated in 196 games with Triple-A Toledo.

The Tigers placed Short, known for his defensive prowess in the infield, on waivers in November 2023. He was subsequently claimed by the New York Mets, and during spring training, he is enjoying the process of adapting to a new team and its dynamics.

“It’s enjoyable to compete,” Short remarked one Sunday morning, stationed in front of his locker within the Mets’ clubhouse. “It’s enlightening to learn from more experienced players, compared to the environment last year.”

Short, previously drafted in the 17th round from Sacred Heart University, shared insights with the Free Press about his tenure with the Tigers, including his experiences alongside future Hall of Famer Miguel Cabrera and his hopeful outlook for the 2024 Tigers. (Responses have been revised for clarity.)

Reflecting on his placement on waivers by the Tigers and subsequent acquisition by the Mets during the offseason, Short commented, “I anticipated it to happen at some point. However, I didn’t expect it to occur so swiftly. But in this business, there are no hard feelings. It is what it is. I wish I could have performed better, particularly towards the end, but it’s part of the game.”

When asked about the significance of his three-year journey with the Tigers, Short expressed, “It held immense significance. I essentially matured as a baseball player during my time there. From my debut to my first hit, playing alongside Miggy, observing Miggy’s prowess – I learned a lot about myself and the game, especially when confronting challenges in the big leagues. These experiences will undoubtedly contribute to my growth as both a person and a player.”

Discussing the fluctuations in his playing time with the Tigers over the years, Short acknowledged, “It was challenging, especially during the 2022 season when I felt I deserved more opportunities given the team’s circumstances. But it’s all part of the learning curve. Last year (2023), I played reasonably well for the most part. It was a significant leap for me, both in terms of playing time and performance. I gained insights into my mental game, preparing to come off the bench and understanding my role. It felt reminiscent of old National League games, where I knew I’d get my chance eventually. Each year brings its own learning curve, and I’m grateful for the time I spent there.”

Recalling moments with Miguel Cabrera during his final season, Short shared, “It was surreal. Witnessing him defy age and injuries to deliver extraordinary performances, hitting homers and doubles, it made me appreciate his greatness even more. I’m excited to see what he’ll accomplish next.”

Regarding his relationship with manager A.J. Hinch, Short commented, “It was excellent. He was incredibly approachable, always willing to address any questions or concerns. Learning from his insights, understanding his thought process during critical moments in games – it was enlightening. He maintained an open dialogue, even during tough times like our nine-game losing streak. His approach to managing relationships is a key aspect of his success.”

Short didn’t elaborate on his thoughts about the fans in Detroit in this paraphrased version.

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