Detroit Tigers relievers have by and large helped the team’s bullpen bounce back from a horrendous 2015 campaign. However, more options could be needed for next season. Bryan Morris is a fit.
Detroit Tigers general manager Al Avila did wonders to reshape the team’s bullpen this past offseason. Avila turned a dreadful unit into a strength for the team.
It has all started with Francisco Rodriguez, who has finished 53 games en route to 43 saves and a 2.59 ERA in 55.2 innings pitched.
Along with Rodriguez, the likes of Justin Wilson (2.90 SIERA, 10.04 K/9) and Bruce Rondon (2.98 SIERA, 10.91 K/9) have thrived. Other effective relievers include Alex Wilson, Shane Greene, Blaine Hardy and Kyle Ryan.
In other words, Brad Ausmus has a number of options in key situations.
While Ausmus will likely have those same relievers available to him next season, the Tigers could use more options. It’s never a bad time to add depth for the future, even during the middle of a pennant race.
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Right-handed reliever Bryan Morris, who was recently designated for assignment by the Marlins, is a potential fit for Detroit for next season. Miami announced the move in a tweet on Tuesday.
Now that the 27-year-old is available, the Tigers should sign him with an eye towards 2017.
Bullpen depth can be key over the course of a season, and Detroit already has a number of quality options. Prospects like Joe Jimenez, Paul Voelker, Myles Jaye, Chad Bell and Adam Ravenelle could all join the bullpen at some point in 2017, but Morris has a chance to thrive early with the Tigers.
A veteran of five Major League seasons, the former Marlin has thrived in two stops in Miami and in Pittsburgh. Over 215 innings pitched, Morris owns a 2.80 ERA.
Similar to Alex Wilson and Kyle Ryan, Morris doesn’t strikeout a ton of batters—153 career punch outs—but he’s shown that he can be successful in consistently getting hitters out.
The former Pirate would be particularly useful as a setup option in front of Francisco Rodriguez. Used alongside Rondon, both Wilsons and Greene, Morris can be extremely effective.
In his career in the sixth inning, the reliever owns a 1.83 ERA. During the seventh inning, the veteran is the owner of a lifetime 2.59 ERA. Morris’ ERA rises slightly to 2.90 in the eighth inning, but it is a quality number nonetheless.
Why Morris Could Succeed
Detroit does have a history of doing this with relievers who had past success elsewhere. Joel Hanrahan, Jim Johnson and Bobby Parnell all signed with the Tigers, but struggled. Hanrahan, a former All-Star, didn’t make it to the Majors, while Johnson (4.44 FIP) and Parnell’s (6.85 FIP) respective performances left much to be desired.
There’s every reason to believe Morris can continue to get batters out in a Detroit uniform. Just this season for Miami, he pitched to a 3.06 ERA.
If Morris succeeds in Detroit and Mark Lowe turns things around next season, the Tigers will have some tremendous bullpen depth in 2017.
Bryan Morris is available, the Detroit Tigers should go and sign him.