Detroit Tigers first half report cards

Tigers manager AJ Hinch answers questions before a practice April 7, 2022 at Comerica Park ahead of the April 8 season opener vs. the White Sox.Tigers
Tigers manager AJ Hinch answers questions before a practice April 7, 2022 at Comerica Park ahead of the April 8 season opener vs. the White Sox.Tigers /
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Detroit Tigers B Grades

Detroit Tigers
Jul 3, 2022; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Tigers third baseman Jeimer Candelario (46) and catcher Tucker Barnhart (15) talk to starting pitcher Tarik Skubal (29) during the second inning against the Kansas City Royals at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

Jason Foley – Another pleasant surprise out of the bullpen, Jason Foley hit the pitching lab in the offseason and drastically altered the movement profile of all four of his offerings. He still isn’t missing bats (14.9% K rate) but he IS missing barrels, and he has become A.J. Hinch’s go-to reliever when he needs a ground ball.

Joe Jiménez – Joe Jiménez came into spring training fighting for a job, and now he enters July as one of the team’s best trade chips. Jiménez is throwing harder than he ever has in the big leagues, he leads the Tigers with a 32% strikeout rate, and he’s doing that while producing a career-low 5.6% walk rate.

Wily Peralta – Wily Peralta was excellent in 2021, but the advanced stats suggested he was remarkably lucky and wouldn’t be able to repeat that performance. So far he’s doing it again, albeit in more of a one-inning role, with an ERA (2.14) a full 1.55 runs lower than his FIP (3.71). He’s still walking too many batters, but we grade on results, and his have been strong.

Victor Reyes – All of Victor Reyes’ flaws are still evident. He doesn’t walk, he doesn’t hit for much power, and he’s grading out poorly as a baserunner and a defender. But he’s currently second on the team with a 116 wRC+ thanks to his .322 batting average, which we can probably attribute to his team-high 28% line drive rate.

Tarik Skubal – Skubal spent the first two months of the season looking like the next Justin Verlander, but his last five starts have looked a lot more like Matthew Boyd. His stuff remains strong, but since June Skubal’s walk rate has leapt from 4.2% to 9.5%, and opponents’ slugging percentage skyrocketed from .323 to .489. He’s still a top 20 starter to FanGraphs, but it’s hard to give him an A with a 4.06 ERA.

Gregory Soto – Soto still struggles to throw strikes, and he isn’t as dominant as it feels like he should be, but the results are the results. He owns a 2.48 ERA through 29 innings, he’s on pace for 32 saves, and he leads the Tigers with 14 shutdowns.

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