Detroit Tigers relief pitchers struggled to miss bats in 2017
By Ben Rosener
Detroit Tigers executive vice president of baseball operations and general manager Al Avila and the rest of the front office are in need of extra bullpen options.
Detroit Tigers fans once again saw the bullpen struggle in 2017.
Not only did Detroit relief pitchers hemorrhaged runs (30th in ERA, FIP, xFIP and SIERA) and allowed base runners in drones (1.56 collective WHIP was also last in the league, while their 10.1 walk percentage checked in at 23rd), but the team’s relievers struggled to miss bats.
Only the Minnesota Twins and Baltimore Orioles’ respective bullpens had a lower cumulative strikeouts per nine innings rate than Detroit’s 7.92 stat.
Elsewhere, the Tigers finished dead-last in swinging strike percentage with a 9.4% stat. They also registered the lowest strikeout percentage in baseball with a 19.6% stat.
Contract-oriented relievers can find plenty of success in the Majors.
However, the fact is that outs via the strikeout out are the best way to limit damage and rallies in games.
While top prospects like Bryan Garcia, Paul Voelker, Gerson Moreno, Adam Ravenelle and Mark Ecker could help change things in the near future it remains to be seen when any of the quintet will debut in the Majors.
Elsewhere, Detroit could benefit from improved showings from Joe Jimenez, Victor Alcantara, Zac Reininger and Jairo Labourt in terms of strike outs.
However, each has limited Major League experience so far.
It may yet take time for everything to click.