One of the items the Detroit Tigers have discussed was adding a left-hander to the bullpen. Perhaps Ariel Miranda is worth taking a look at?
If you follow the KBO League that exists in South Korea, the league ended last week with the KT Wiz winning the championship over the Doosan Bears, one of the original founding franchises of the KBO when it started in 1982. The Bears featured the league MVP Ariel Miranda, who has had an impressive run in Korea.
Who is Ariel Miranda?
The soon-to-be 33-year-old Miranda finished the season 14-5 with an ERA of 2.33 with 225 strikeouts in 173.2 innings pitched, becoming the first Cuban National player to win the MVP and also breaking the single-season record in the KBO for strikeouts.
While in the majors, he first started his career in Baltimore before being traded to Seattle for Wade Miley in 2016. Since being released by Seattle, he has bounced around in Japan and China with 2021 being the first season he spent in Korea.
His best two pitches according to SIS, are his fastball and splitter. (A great blog to check out) The fastball average is around 91 MPH but like most Cuban pitchers, he has very good command and can locate the pitcher wherever he needs it.
It also provides a different look than Gregory Soto’s slider and fastball combo since a splitter moves breaks downward while slider movement on a right-handed hitter, breaks down and away. If you are looking at a clock, a splitter goes 12-5 while a slider goes 2 to 7.
Here is a good example of that splitter last season in China.
Good movement on his fastball here.
Why would Ariel Miranda be a good fit for the Detroit Tigers?
At the age of 33, he would get another opportunity to pitch in the big leagues and assume to take any role given. While he has been a starter, the Tigers could use him like Tyler Alexander as a swingman option, either starting or going long relief in the bullpen if Alexander stays in the rotation. He has been mostly a starter but he has had some shoulder fatigue recently.
The Tigers excelled last season in maximizing the best pitch mix for a reliever or starter to succeed and it could work in this situation for Miranda. If you need a good example of this, look at the success Tyler Alexander had with his cutter or Kyle Funkhouser had with his slider.