Detroit Tigers Rumors

Detroit Tigers: Should they bring back Ian Krol?

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NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 03: Ian Krol #46 of the Atlanta Braves delivers a pitch in the seventh inning against the New York Mets during Opening Day on April 3, 2017 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 03: Ian Krol #46 of the Atlanta Braves delivers a pitch in the seventh inning against the New York Mets during Opening Day on April 3, 2017 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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The Detroit Tigers have an opportunity to add left-hander (and former Tiger) Ian Krol to their depleted bullpen.

It’s no secret that the Detroit Tigers have a bullpen problem. Specifically this year, it has been a left-handed bullpen problem. Daniel Stumpf was supposed to be the team’s lockdown LOOGY this year. However, he has a 5.71 ERA and an ugly 14/11 K/BB ratio on the year. Blaine Hardy was Detroit’s backup option in the bullpen, but he has turned himself into a starting pitcher in place of Jordan Zimmermann.

Daniel Norris, Chad Bell and Ryan Carpenter have all appeared out of the bullpen as well. However, Norris is on the DL, Bell was removed from the 40-man roster and Carpenter is a starter who doesn’t look like he has much future in the big leagues.

The Tigers did add left-hander Kevin Chapman from the Independent League. He has appeared in two games for Triple-A Toledo. He does have some big league experience, so he could be making an appearance in the show soon.

Still, the Tigers could use another left-hander with big league experience to help stop the bleeding in their bullpen. And a familiar face just became available after the Angels just designated left-hander Ian Krol for assignment.

Remember Ian Krol?

Krol, 27, was originally drafted in the seventh round by the Oakland A’s in 2009. He made his way over to Washington and made his big league debut in 2013.

Krol was acquired by the Detroit Tigers on December 2, 2013 along with Robbie Ray and Steve Lombardozzi in exchange for Doug Fister. Krol pitched in the Tiger bullpen from 2014-2015, amassing 60 2/3 innings with a 5.34 ERA, a 1.69 WHIP and a 54/30 K/BB ratio.

The Tigers then flipped Krol to the Braves in exchange for Cameron Maybin. Krol had his best season in 2016 with the Braves, pitching to a 3.18 ERA with a stellar 56/13 K/BB ratio. He took a huge step backward in 2017, with a 5.33 ERA in 49 innings.

In February, he signed with the Los Angeles Angels. He only appeared in one game with LA however, before he was designated for assignment.

Krol is still just 27 years old, and despite his struggles last year he has always posted solid strikeout numbers. He isn’t going to suddenly become an elite back-end reliever, but considering his competition for a bullpen role in Detroit – well the Tigers should be looking at all viable bullpen options.

Next: Five Best Trades in Franchise History

All in all, Detroit should be exploring any sub-30-year-old available relievers. Krol is a familiar face who has had some success in the big leagues, and is at least worth a look for the Tigers.

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