The Detroit Tigers signed a flurry of players to Minor League deals on Tuesday. One of them, Enrique Burgos, has a chance to make an immediate impact in Detroit’s bullpen.
The Detroit Tigers lack of bullpen depth has been well-documented this offseason.
Last month, we examined three veteran free agents the Tigers could target.
However, the Tigers quietly added a potential bullpen piece amidst their flurry of moves this week.
27-year-old Enrique Burgos signed a minor league deal on Tuesday, along with catcher Derek Norris, outfielder Jim Adduci and first baseman Edwin Espinal.
Burgos last played for the Diamondbacks, where he threw 68.1 innings between 2015-2016.
While his 5.27 ERA, 1.507 WHIP and 38 walks were not great, Burgos suffered from quite a bit of bad luck down in the desert. Burgos has a career FIP of 3.73 and a SIERA of 3.79, a sign that his 5.27 ERA could be the result of bad luck and poor defense in Arizona.
What Burgos was able to control, namely striking hitters out, he succeeded at. The right-hander struck out 82 batters in his 68.1 innings, good for a 10.8 K/9. He played all of 2017 at Triple-A and struck out 39 batters in 35.2 innings.
Burgos is able to strike a lot of hitters out with his two-pitch arsenal thanks to a very live arm. He averages 96.8 mph on his fastball and a blistering 88.7 mph on his slider. His 13.0% swinging strike rate is above the league average. The flame-thrower is able to blow his stuff past hitters at an above average rate.
The most notable thing holding Burgos back is his control. He has walked batters at a 12.7% rate in the show, which equates to about five walks per nine innings.
If the 27-year-old is able to hone in his control, he could serve a valuable role as a middle reliever for the Tigers in 2018 and beyond.
New Tigers pitching coach Chris Bosio has experience helping players develop control later in their career (see Jake Arrieta). There is hope that Burgos can be a diamond in the rough for a Tigers team that is hoping to unearth a few gems during their rebuild.