Detroit Tigers: Yusmeiro Petit the Perfect Fit
The Detroit Tigers roster will undoubtedly look different by the time spring training rolls around next calendar year.
One area where change will likely be the most prominent will be in the bullpen. Alex Wilson and Blaine Hardy are the only two relievers left over from 2015 who will likely have any amount of job security when pitchers and catchers report.
In other words, expect a number of new additions to the bullpen.
One of those additions should be Yusmeiro Petit.
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Petit, the 31-year-old right hander, just completed his fourth season with the San Francisco Giants. He joins a number of intriguing players to hit the free agent market after the Giants didn’t tender him a contract.
In total, the swing man posted a 3.66 ERA and a 3.25 FIP in 245.2 innings pitched. Petit also displayed his versatility with San Francisco. During the time he spent in the Bay Area he appeared in 90 games, 21 of which were starts while 29 came at the end of games.
The 2015 season saw Petit shift almost exclusively to the bullpen as the Giants employed a number of quality starters who surpassed the former Diamondback on the depth chart.
However, just because Petit has started, he wouldn’t be an assured starter in Detroit. Even with the Tigers rotation issues, the 31-year-old doesn’t have the best track record as a starter. In 2014 Petit made 12 starts and posted a 5.03 ERA in 68 innings while allowing 11 home runs.
If the failed Alfredo Simon experiment has taught us anything it’s that successful relievers over 30-years-old should probably stay in the bullpen. Unless, that is, you can coax a fluky, All-Star season out of the player before flipping said player for two quality prospects.
Given his ability to start games (in terms working up a high pitch count) and his solid ERA, Petit can be depended on as a reliever who can pitch multiple quality innings out of the bullpen.
The Tigers bullpen was constantly taxed in 2015, and that may be one of the reasons the unit failed so spectacularly. Adding Petit to the team for the 2016 season would give Detroit a pitcher who can shoulder the burden and eat innings.
The right-handed pitcher doesn’t just have a shiny ERA, his other statistics of note are significant. Last season, Petit held players batting third to a .243 batting average. He found even more success against the fourth and fifth hitters in opposing lineups. Cleanup hitters managed a .188 batting average while the fifth hitter in opposing batting orders hit a meager .091 against Petit. Additionally, batters in general only hit .211 off the former Arizona pitcher with runners in scoring position.
Next: The Tigers Should Pursue Henderson Alvarez
Another quality reliever has hit the open market. The Detroit Tigers should pounce.