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Detroit Tigers: Alex Lange deserves a bullpen role moving forward

Tyler Kotila
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)
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) /
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Detroit Tigers need to keep Alex Lange amid the pending roster purge.

The Detroit Tigers have their new front office leader, have a timeline for his official entrance to the team, and have some clarity about things moving forward. For current players, this could mean a roster purge is coming.

It’s anticipated that the Detroit Tigers roster will look much different when the 2023 season rolls around. After all, Scott Harris said it would be an off-season featuring calculated risks, which means the team will have to figure out who’s on the way out.

For reliever Alex Lange, he’s finally proving he can be a valuable piece of the team’s bullpen. It seems silly to ship off Lange and get rid of him. Keeping him around to prove he can be a high-leverage reliever and get the job done seems more efficient.

It’s silly when Lange is making just $703,700, according to FanGraphs, being under team control through the 2027 season. That means he could remain with the team through his two pre-arbitration and three arbitration years if he continues to perform well and prove beneficial to the bullpen.

The likelihood is Lange would be a valuable option for them to spend minimally on but keep as a part of the bullpen moving forward. He has been reliable on the mound and get the job done when the Tigers need him to.

Detroit Tigers reliever Alex Lange has been on a tear.

The Detroit Tigers have turned to Lange nine times in September, and he has found a way to get the job done each time. He has yet to surrender a run. An @DetroitTigersPR tweet tipped me off to this, so I did some more digging.

Besides throwing 7.1 innings and punching out 11 opposing hitters, Lange has been able to limit the opposition to five baserunners. He has faced a total of 26 batters during that timeframe, only 10 of them putting the ball in play.

Based on the outcomes, Lange has been able to go out there and execute how he wants to at a high level. Lange’s calling card is the ability to sequence the fastball and land the breaking ball for a strike with a good shape.

It’s a pitch he can spin well and plays well off his fastball, which has arm-side run and sink to it. Lange made some slight mechanical changes from last year to this year, and being able to sequence his two-pitch mix well has only helped him and made him a better option in the bullpen.

The Tigers need to capitalize on Lange and his success, not just this month but this season. Lange has pitched in 66 games overall for the Tigers, accumulating 58.2 innings pitched.

He’s managed a 3.68 ERA and 1.21 WHIP, with 80 punchouts to his credit. Lange has to be someone the Tigers want to keep around. While I recently tabbed Jason Foley as another reliever to keep around, the team needs to evaluate where they are before tearing down the bullpen.

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A roster purge is coming, but the Tigers need to capitalize on some of their assets here in Detroit before completely breaking everything down.

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