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 D Grades

Detroit Tigers
Jun 26, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Beau Brieske (63) pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /

Tyler Alexander – This may seem a bit unfair, as Alexander was apparently trying to pitch through an injury during his rough early stretch this season. He has been terrific since his return, allowing just one run over 13.1 innings, but that 4.56 ERA still stings. He’s certainly trending up though.

Javier Báez – It’s been a tough season for Javier Báez. On the positive side, he’s playing strong defense and striking out at the second lowest rate of his career. But he just isn’t hitting the ball. His barrel rate and exit velocity numbers are down dramatically, and he’s being fed a steady diet of sliders, against which he is hitting just .113 with an astronomical 51.2% whiff rate.

Willi Castro – Willi Castro finally seems to have found a defensive home as a corner outfielder, where he has shown solid range and an impressive arm. But he still isn’t doing much on offense, with an 86 wRC+ thanks to a walk rate below 4% and the second lowest average exit velocity in baseball.

Tucker Barnhart – All measurable statistics suggest Tucker Barnhart should get a failing grade. He’s hitting just .219 with zero home runs and a wRC+ of 56, and he’s been average at best on defense. The only saving grace is his presumed role in Detroit’s above-average pitching all season.

Beau Brieske – Brieske’s overall numbers still point to below-average production, but he seems to be figuring some things out at the big league level. He allowed ten home runs and posted a 5.25 ERA over his first 36 innings, but in his last 33.1 innings he has given up just four homers while producing an ERA of 3.78. The next step is finding a way to miss more bats.

Alex Faedo – Alex Faedo’s route to a D has been the inverse of Brieske’s. Faedo was outstanding through his first 27 innings, posting a flat 3 ERA with just 8 walks, but in his last 25 innings he’s given out 13 free passes and his ERA has ballooned to 7.20.

Jonathan Schoop – Schoop continues to have a bizarre season. He is the worst everyday hitter in baseball, but also on pace to have the best individual defensive season since Statcast began tracking Outs Above Average in 2016. If he were merely hitting at his career average Schoop would be a top ten player by WAR this year. Instead he owns a wRC+ of 57 and a D grade.

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