Detroit Tigers first half report cards
By Chris Brown
The 2022 Detroit Tigers are getting better, but they still aren’t good.
Wednesday afternoon’s win against Cleveland added a nice flourish to the first half of the 2022 Detroit Tigers season, but it’s cold comfort for fans who watched the season go off the rails by the middle of May.
There’s still half a season left to play, and these next 81 games may prove vitally important to the immediate future of the franchise. But, as we wrote in our first-quarter report cards, now is not the time for hope.
Now is the time to judge. Below you’ll find our grades for Detroit Tigers regulars over the first half of the season.
Detroit Tigers A Grades
Andrew Chafin – It’s hard for any longtime fan to believe, but the Detroit Tigers have one of the best bullpens in baseball. The quirky Andrew Chafin has been a huge part of that, posting an outstanding 2.55 ERA over 24.1 innings. He’s throwing plenty of strikes, and neutralizing batters from both sides of the plate.
Michael Fulmer – Fulmer has reinvented himself for the 3rd time in his career. He began as a hard-throwing starter, then last year he turned into a hard-throwing reliever with a starter’s arsenal. And now he’s a slider monster. Fulmer throws his slider more than 60% of the time, and why wouldn’t he? Batters are hitting under .100 against it, with just two extra-base hits and zero home runs. That’s how you produce a 2.03 ERA over 31 innings.
Riley Greene – It took Riley Greene fewer than ten games to prove he was the best, most talented player on the Detroit Tigers. He is bound to run into some struggles later in the season, but so far he is making the game look fairly simple. He made spectacular plays on defense, hit a massive walk-off home run, and reached base safely in 16 of 17 games. Since he arrived the Tigers have gone from the worst offense in baseball to a top-ten offense. That deserves an A in our book.
Alex Lange – Alex Lange has joined Chafin and Fulmer as a three-headed setup monster for A.J. Hinch. Lange’s stuff is the nastiest of the trio — he’s one of just eight relievers with a swinging-strike rate above 17% — so even though his walk rate is a tad high, he still owns the best ERA (2.01) on the pitching staff.