3B Jeimer Candelario
This one is a bit more long term, as the likelihood of him being cut midseason is slim to none, but Jeimer has not performed well on either side of the ball this season. His slash line is awful, and his defense has regressed significantly.
At the plate, he’s been striking out more and walking less. Baseball Savant has him in the 13th percentile in chase rate. Early in the season, pitchers just kept throwing him breaking balls down and in because they knew he would swing at it.
The lack of walks are particularly concerning. His walk rate this season is just 6.2%, 4% lower than his career average. That’s a huge shift.
If there’s any silver linings to his performance at the plate this season, he’s in the 69th percentile in barrel rate and his average launch angle is a good four degrees higher than last season. Maybe he’s trying to sell out for more power?
I get it, even I would like to see more homers out of Candelario. But he’s at his best when he’s patient and trying to find a gap. After all, he led the league in doubles last season.
His defense, meanwhile, has been even worse. He’s in the 11th percentile in outs above average. He’s already got four errors and a DRS of -3. He’s never been great over at the hot corner, but he’s never been this bad either.
Last season, Jeimer Candelario led the Detroit Tigers in WAR at 3.8. So far this season, he’s at -0.4, below replacement level. That’s not going to get it done.
Jeimer has one more year of arbitration left before he becomes a free agent after the 2023 season. He’s making $5.8M this season, and he’ll make more than that in 2023. That’s a lot of money for a guy who’s playing below replacement level.
It may sound strange because he’s been around throughout this entire rebuilding process, but Candy could very well get non-tendered by the Tigers at season’s end if he doesn’t turn things around.