Detroit Tigers boost their bullpen with Andrew Chafin

Relief pitcher Andrew Chafin sits in the dugout. Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports
Relief pitcher Andrew Chafin sits in the dugout. Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports /

The Detroit Tigers have signed left-handed reliever Andrew Chafin.

With big-name additions to their lineup and rotation already signed, the Detroit Tigers finally addressed their bullpen by adding left-handed reliever Andrew Chafin. Evan Petzold of the Detroit Free Press broke the news, and Ken Rosenthal followed with more details:

Rogelio wrote a full breakdown on Andrew Chafin just a few weeks ago, pointing out both his durability and his effectiveness last year:

"Lefties hit .170 against him in 104 plate appearances and righties hit .196 in 162 plate appearances with 43 strikeouts. Power wise, lefties hit just one home run off him. His slider generated an impressive 54% Whiff rate and batters hit just .092."

Chafin benefited from some extreme luck last year, with a .232 batting average on balls in play and an 86.1% left-on-base percentage (league average for relievers was .288 and 71.5%), so his 1.83 ERA is unsustainable. That said, his 2.98 FIP, 1.4 fWAR, and 2.9 bWAR would have easily led a 2021 Detroit Tigers bullpen that ranked in the bottom third of baseball. And there’s one more benefit to this signing.

Andrew Chafin is a goofball.

Andrew Chafin
Andrew Chafin stands on the field before a game. Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports /

Andrew Chafin has fully embraced the role of a quirky reliever, growing a Fu Manchu mustache and sporting a full head of curly locks. His appearance conjures images of both Kenny Powers and former Detroit Tigers closer Todd Jones.

Chafin was dubbed The Sheriff by Diamondbacks broadcasters, and he refers to himself as Big Country on his Twitter account, where fans can follow along as he rebuilds his “beaterbird” car and gets his hair straightened, among other shenanigans.

Chafin’s experience and personality should be a welcome presence in the Detroit Tigers bullpen. Those intangibles are great, but it’s also nice to have a filthy slider.

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