Detroit Tigers News

Detroit Tigers: Assessing whether team can contend in next two seasons

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DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 15: Mikie Mahtook #15 of the Detroit Tigers celebrates with Nicholas Castellanos #9 of the Detroit Tigers, Ian Kinsler #3 of the Detroit Tigers, Shane Greene #61 of the Detroit Tigers and Jeimer Candelario #46 of the Detroit Tigers after hitting a walk-off single in the ninth inning to drive in Candelario and defeat the Chicago White Sox 3-2 at Comerica Park on September 15, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 15: Mikie Mahtook #15 of the Detroit Tigers celebrates with Nicholas Castellanos #9 of the Detroit Tigers, Ian Kinsler #3 of the Detroit Tigers, Shane Greene #61 of the Detroit Tigers and Jeimer Candelario #46 of the Detroit Tigers after hitting a walk-off single in the ninth inning to drive in Candelario and defeat the Chicago White Sox 3-2 at Comerica Park on September 15, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Tigers
DETROIT, MI – AUGUST 11: Joe Jimenez #77 of the Detroit Tigers pitches against the Minnesota Twins during the ninth inning at Comerica Park on August 11, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. The Twins defeated the Tigers 9-4. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /

The bullpen

Elsewhere, the Tigers have a number of talented relievers who could be turn into key contributors if they can start to figure things out.

Most prominent among them is Joe Jimenez.

Jimenez has the potential to be a shutdown, late-inning reliever.

After dominating hitter sin the minors, Jimenez made his Major League debut in 2017. While he didn’t exactly light the world on fire (4.81 SIERA, 4.26 walks allowed per nine innings in 19 frames), there were some encouraging signs in terms of missing bats.

Only four Detroit relievers had a higher swinging strike percentage than Jimenez’ 11.8 number.

One of those four was Victor Alcantara, who could pair with lefty Jairo Labourt to give the Tigers a pair of hard-throwing options earlier in games.

Add in Bryan Garcia, Zac Reininger and Drew VerHagen, and there’s potential for a promising young bullpen if the hurlers start make adjustments.

Even if just two of the aforementioned group start to figure things out and become dependable relief options, the Tigers will be in decent place.

Combine said relievers with Shane Greene, Alex Wilson, Daniel Stumpf and a veteran, place holder signing from the free agent market like Tony Watson or Luke Gregerson and Detroit’s bullpen may just be a strength.

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