Detroit Tigers: 3 players who were snubbed out of the MLB All-Star game

CHICAGO, IL - JULY 07: Gregory Soto #65 of the Detroit Tigers pitches in the ninth inning against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on July 7, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. Detroit defeated Chicago 2-1. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JULY 07: Gregory Soto #65 of the Detroit Tigers pitches in the ninth inning against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on July 7, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. Detroit defeated Chicago 2-1. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /
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The Detroit Tigers’ closer is headed back to the midsummer classic

Detroit Tigers’ closer Gregory Soto has been selected the MLB All-Star game for the second consecutive season.

https://twitter.com/tigers/status/1546246560442454019

This comes after Miguel Cabrera was named to the All-Star game as part of the league’s new “legends” clause. Many fans were wondering whether the Tigers would even get another All-Star nod, and now they have their answer.

Soto is deserving of the selection, having a 2.70 ERA and 17 saves, tied for eighth in all of baseball. But there are a few other bullpen arms who are also (and arguably more) deserving of the nod.

No hitter besides Miggy was deserving of the nod, and considering the offense has been historically bad, that shouldn’t be a surprise. The only starting pitcher that hasn’t been injured this season is Tarik Skubal, and he has regressed to the mean after a fantastic start, although his last start in Chicago was much better.

One of these days, the Detroit Tigers will be good enough to get somebody other than a bullpen arm into the All-Star game. But for now, here are three Tigers, all bullpen arms, that were snubbed out of the 2022 MLB All-Star game.

RHP Alex Lange

Detroit Tigers
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – MAY 25: Alex Lange #55 of the Detroit Tigers delivers a pitch against the Minnesota Twins in the ninth inning of the game at Target Field on May 25, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Tigers defeated the Twins 4-2 in ten innings. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /

Arguably the most deserving of them all, Lange has the filthiest stuff on the Tigers’ staff. He’s got a 1.97 ERA and 42 strikeouts in 32 innings of work.

His ability to miss bats has been what’s made him so effective. He’s got a two-seam fastball with wicked movement and a curveball in which the bottom could fall out at any moment. He also features a changeup to keep hitters honest against that fastball.

His biggest weakness is his inability to throw strikes from time to time, not unlike Soto. He currently walks 4.2 batters per nine, which is higher than you’d like. But he seems to have sorted that issue out after an up-and-down month of June.

Lange simply has the best stuff in that bullpen and the numbers to back it up. He’s arguably the biggest snub on this Tigers roster.

RHP Michael Fulmer

Detroit Tigers
DETROIT, MICHIGAN – JULY 06: Michael Fulmer #32 of the Detroit Tigers throws a pitch while playing the Cleveland Guardians at Comerica Park on July 06, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

The next most logical candidate, Fulmer is having almost as good of a year as Lange. In fact, his ERA is actually a tick lower than Lange’s at 1.93. However, Lange has the edge in strikeouts and overall stuff.

Fans were a little worried early in the season when Fulmer’s fastball velocity had dipped to the 93-94 mph range, although it has ticked back up to 97 in recent outings. He realized this and started spamming his slider, which has worked out tremendously for him.

Fulmer was an All-Star back in 2017 as a starter, but this would have been his first selection as a reliever. To make the All-Star game as both a starter and a reliever in his career would have quite the accomplishment.

As we mentioned last week in our first half report cards, this is the third time in his career that Fulmer has had to reinvent himself. From power starter, to power reliever, to slider king, Fulmer has worked his tail off to get to this point. It would have nice to see his efforts rewarded with an All-Star selection.

RHP Joe Jimenez

Detroit Tigers
DETROIT, MI – JULY 5: Joe Jimenez #77 of the Detroit Tigers pitches against the Cleveland Guardians at Comerica Park on July 5, 2022, in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /

Well who on earth would have thought we’d see this name on an All-Star snubs list in the year 2022? That’s the kind of year Joe Jimenez is having.

It may seem like an eternity ago, but Jimenez has been an All-Star before. He was the Tigers’ rep back in 2018, which was the best year of his career coming into this season. The ERA may have been a little inflated at 4.31, but he had 78 strikeouts in 62.2 innings pitched and a FIP of 2.90.

Jimenez is having a career resurgence in 2022, striking out 42 batters in 32.1 innings and a FIP at 2.36. He’s striking out almost 12 batters per nine innings, the second highest of his career. His average fastball velocity is up to 95.6 mph according to Baseball Savant, almost a full mile per hour higher than last year.

The key for Jimenez has been the ability to limit the free passes. Last year, while he was still striking batters out at a pretty good clip, he was walking batters at an alarming rate of 6.9 batters per nine. This year, he’s walked just seven batters all season, lowering his walk rate by a whole five batters per nine at 1.9.

If nothing else, this shows just how much of a wizard Chris Fetter is. Jimenez was looking like a lost cause before this season, and now he’s one of the better arms in the Detroit Tigers’ bullpen. If Fetter can fix him, he can fix anybody.

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