Detroit Tigers Minor League Report: Pitching depth signings continue
The Detroit Tigers in the last month have added 14 players through minor league contacts, with a few getting minor league invites to spring training. We highlighted a few of the signings earlier in the month so let’s breakdown the most recent ones who posses something that pitching Chris Fetter could work with including the one from yesterday that Brandon Day of Bless You Boys.com broke the news about via social media.
Detroit Tigers fans should recognize that name as Derek Holland signed a minor league deal. When Tigers fans last saw him pitched it was on August 8, when the Tigers had a power surge, hitting five home runs off the lefty. He has been a journeyman since leaving the Rangers in 2018.
A deeper dive on his stuff shows Detroit has something to work with. An outstanding article by Matt Mancuso of BaseballCloudBlog.com discussed his one-of-a-kind qualities including his arsenal and how it pertains to spin rate. Mancuso’s last paragraph sums up well when it comes to Detroit Tigers pitching coach Chris Fetter.
“Maybe there’s more to unlock with Holland. With teams getting wiser by the minute in terms of pitch design and pitch science, Holland could have another late-career renaissance in him. If he signs with a more forward-thinking team who could take full advantage of his arsenal, the tools are there for him to succeed.”
While it seems like Detroit at this point is not going to add another pitcher to the rotation via free agency, this could be a storyline to look out for in spring training. Oddly enough, Detroit also added another Pirates pitcher via a minor league deal that fans saw in the same series in Pittsburgh in lefty Miguel Del Pozo, who allowed three runs on five hits.
RHP Erasmo Ramirez
The other signing that happened earlier in the week was Erasmo Ramirez, who will get an invite to spring training. Ramirez signed with the Mets last season on a minor league contract and got the call up in September. The former starter now reliever showed in limited duty why Detroit gave him a look.
In 14.1 innings in 2020, the right-hander had an ERA of 0.63 with nine strikeouts. Ramirez throws a sinker, changeup, curve, four-seamer, and a cutter. The cutter usage picked up in 2020 to 37.9%, a career-high and that led to betters hitting just .150. Keep in mind that the sample size is very small but worth noting. In 2017, that cutter lead to a -15 run value, and in limited work in 2020, that lead to -3.
Both arms are to add to the much-needed pitching depth in Toledo but both could see action in Detroit at some point. Welcome to baseball in January, folks!