The Detroit Tigers finally have a bullpen that teams can envy. They have a stellar closer in Francisco Rodriguez, a veteran relief pitcher in Mark Lowe, and a new southpaw in Justin Wilson. He happens to be just what the doctor ordered for the Tigers’ bullpen. The solid, hard-throwing lefty will add a great punch to the Tigers’ revamped bullpen.
The Tigers acquired Wilson this off-season from the New York Yankees in a trade for pitchers Luis Cessa and Chad Green. Wilson pitched well for New York last year becoming a big part of their season. He pitched 61 innings with a 3.10 ERA striking out 66 batters and only walking 20. These statistics were pretty consistent with what he has done in his career. Last year was his first year in the AL.
Before pitching for the Yankees, Wilson was a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was drafted out of California State University Fresno in Fresno, California by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 5th round of the amateur draft. He attended Dr. Floyd B. Buchanan High School in Clovis, California. He was with the Pirates for 3 seasons. In 138.1 innings his ERA stayed below 3.00 at 2.99 while striking out 127 strikeouts. He was solid part of the 2013 and 2014 Pittsburgh playoff teams.
Wilson will be a big help to the Tigers this year. He is projected to have a 3.54 ERA while striking out 58. This will be a huge upgrade for what was a large part of the Tigers’ issues last season. Wilson will bring a whole new feeling to the bullpen. He is a career 3.03 ERA pitcher with 193 strike outs making him among the best pitchers in the Tigers bullpen. Justin Wilson will be add a bit of a punch for the Tigers.
The lefty showed many times last season that he has the potential to be an elite relief pitcher. On the other hand there were a few times that he did struggle. He appeared at times to over pitch and that could be a downside for the Tigers and Wilson. But I think that Wilson will have a very successful year with the Tigers. I think he could be used as middle relief or as a set-up man which gives the Tigers a lot more flexibility.
Wilson will be a great compliment to the Tiger’s new closer Francisco Rodriguez. He solidifies the back end of the bullpen which will translate to a lot more wins than the Tigers had last season.