Detroit Tigers: Joe Jimenez should be used more in second half, regardless of trades
If Justin Wilson is traded
Should Wilson be dealt, Joe Jimenez stands out as one of the few closing options for the Detroit Tigers. The other most prominent options are Shane Greene and Bruce Rondon.
However, Greene seems better suited in his multiple-inning role.
Rondon has certainly pitched like a closer as of late.
Since making his return to the Majors on June 25, the flamethrower has struck out 15 of the 38 batters he’s faced, allowing just six hits, five walks and three runs.
All told, that spits out to a 2.79 ERA, a 2.70 xFIP and a 1.60 FIP.
In a perfect world, the Tigers can use Rondon as the team’s primary closer while easing Jimenez into high-leverage situations.
Once Jimenez has acclimated to pitching in key moments, Detroit can use utilize a platoon at closer before heading into 2018 with two closing candidates with premium stuff.
Fixing the Tigers’ bullpen ahead of 2018 would go a long ways towards the team contending next season.
Unfortunately, it has once again been the team’s Achilles’ heel this season.
In 2017, The Tigers position players also rank eighth in defensive runs above average and wRC+, ninth in wOBA as well as 11th in total WAR.
Meanwhile, Detroit’s starting pitchers rank 10th in the league in WAR.
The bullpen on the other hand sits in the bottom fie in the league in strikeouts per nine innings, walks per nine innings, home runs allowed per nine innings, ERA, FIP, xFIP and swinging strike percentage.
It isn’t hard to imagine the Tigers in the thick of things contention-wise if the team’s bullpen performed better this season.
Next: Al Avila’s under-the-radar additions are paying off
Hopefully, with a revamped bullpen featuring a more experienced Jimenez will help turn things around statistically next season.