Detroit Tigers relief pitchers struggled to miss bats in 2017
Other incumbent options for the Detroit Tigers’ bullpen
Looking at the rest of the team’s incumbent options, there aren’t many strikeout mavens where the bullpen is concerned.
Last season among Detroit Tigers relief pitchers with at least 20 innings of work, just one reliever had a strikeouts per nine innings rate over 10.0.
That would be former closer Justin Wilson, who was dealt to the Chicago Cubs at the non-waiver trade deadline.
In fact, three of the team’s top five relief pitchers in terms of strikeouts per nine innings—Wilson, Anibal Sanchez and Francisco Rodriguez—are no longer with the team.
Moving to the swinging-strike percentage metric, there is once again a dearth of bullpen arms who induced swings and misses on a consistent basis.
Justin Wilson, Drew VerHagen, Sanchez and Blaine Hardy were the only relievers with a minimum of 20 innings pitched and swinging strike percentage at 10.0% or higher.
Wilson finished with a 14.3% percentage, while VerHagen, Sanchez and Hardy checked in with 11.4%, 10.1% and 10.0% percentages respectively.
For reference, per FanGraphs, the league average in terms of swinging strike percentage in baseball was 10.5% percent.
Of all Detroit Tigers relievers with 20 innings pitched, five also posted swinging strike percentages south of 9.0%.
All five—Shane Greene, Chad Bell, Alex Wilson, Warwick Saupold and Daniel Stumpf—could be in the bullpen mix next season.