One of the more intriguing names on the list of minor league signings, Alainz spent six seasons in the Houston Astros minor league system before joining Detroit prior to last season.
The right-handed reliever split the 2016 campaign between Double-A Erie and Triple-A Toledo.
With Erie, the former Houston farmhand turned in a 2.77 ERA in 48.2 innings pitched.
Along the way, he punched out 9.1 batters per nine innings while allowing just 3.3 walks and 0.2 home runs per nine frames.
After a step up in competition to Toledo, Alaniz actually improved his numbers.
In 25 innings pitched, the right-hander’s ERA sat at 2.52. He struck out 9.0 batters per nine innings and didn’t allow a single home run.
Compared to other positons, teams tend to utilize more relievers over the course of a season. If Alaniz can continue to display the form he did in 2016 at the Major League level, the Detroit Tigers will have found a long-term bullpen piece.
Prior to appearing in three games for the Tigers last season, Kensing’s most recent taste of Major League action came in 2015 with the Seattle Mariners.
Pitching for Lloyd McClendon, Kensing pitched to a 5.87 ERA and 7.6 strikeouts per nine innings in 15.1 innings pitched.
However, much of Kensing’s struggles that season were due to a handful of poor outings. The relief pitcher appeared in 19 games, and held the opposition scoreless in 13 of them.
Additionally, the 34-year-old held the opposing team hitless in 11 of those appearances.
It’s obviously a small sample size, but combined Kensing’s 3.44 ERA in Toledo last season, there’s reason to believe the veteran can turn in solid numbers pitching out of a big league bullpen.