Detroit Tigers: 3 players who have stepped up in 2022 but are best suited for a part-time role
These three players for the Detroit Tigers are best used in moderation
The Detroit Tigers have dealt with an incredibly abnormal amount of injuries this season, and it has led to a bunch of players getting more opportunities. Some of them haven’t taken advantage of their extra playing time, while others have. The latter are who we’d like to highlight in this article.
These players have all had decent seasons by their standards, but are still best suited as bench options, where they are most valuable. The Detroit Tigers could use all the depth they can get, so it would be nice to have the luxury of stashing these players on the bench rather than putting them in the starting lineup everyday.
As the Tigers have slowly gotten healthier, these players will surely see their playing time reduced, which is in the best interest of both themselves and the team. So here are three players that have stepped up this season but are best suited for part-time roles.
Utilityman Harold Castro
The meme of Hittin’ Harold has died down a bit since his hot streak at the end of May, but he’s still been one of the Tigers’ most consistent hitters. He’s still slashing .280/.301/.433 with a .734 OPS.
His ability to make consistent contact is what has kept him in the lineup, along with a few injuries, most recently to Jeimer Candelario (who has since returned). He can play all over the diamond as well, although he doesn’t excel at any of them as evidenced by the fact that he’s in the 1st percentile in outs above average according to Baseball Savant.
The biggest thing to note for Harold is that he’s improved his performance against southpaws. It may be just 26 PAs, but he’s hitting .304 against lefties this year, compared to .214 in 2021. A.J. Hinch has been able to leave him in there against lefties and not feel like he’s giving away an at-bat.
While he’s also started hitting for a bit more power, the thing that holds Harold Castro back is that he still almost never walks. He walked this past Sunday against the Arizona Diamondbacks for just the fourth time all season. For comparison’s sake, Riley Greene has walked seven times in just eight games as a big leaguer.
If he could walk just a little bit more or play competent defense anywhere, one could justify giving Harold Castro more playing time. But given the player that he is, he’s a better player when used once per series or so. Hittin’ Harold will always be a fun player, but he’s best served in a reserve role.