Detroit Tigers: Joey Wentz dominant in the Arizona Fall League

Tyler Kotila
Oct 2, 2022; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Joey Wentz (43) throws a pitch against the Minnesota Twins in the first inning at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 2, 2022; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Joey Wentz (43) throws a pitch against the Minnesota Twins in the first inning at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports /
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Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Joey Wentz is dominating the AFL.

The Detroit Tigers have seen left-handed pitcher Joey Wentz go out and dominate throughout his first two starts of the 2022 Arizona Fall League (AFL) season. He has gone out and put together two masterful performances.

There is plenty to like from the Detroit Tigers southpaw, who has gone out and shoved through the first two weeks of the AFL, earning him back-to-back Pitcher of the Week nominations. His stuff has been working, and he’s trying to prove further that may have an upside in the back end of the rotation role.

So far, with the Salt River Rafters, Wentz has made two starts where he has pitched eight scoreless innings. His first start was a four-perfect-inning outing where he was able to cruise through four innings of perfect baseball while punching out three.

He followed that up in his second performance, finding ways to get the job done there as well. Wentz through another set of four-innings, keeping the opposition off the scoreboard, allowing just one hit. He walked two and punched out eight for the Rafters, helping power him to his second Pitcher of the Week nomination.

Detroit Tigers southpaw Joey Wentz finding success bodes well moving forward.

The success this fall is only going to be beneficial for the Tigers and for Wentz. Piecing together a strong fall is only going to do well for him as he continues to try and find a home in the Tigers’ starting rotation moving forward.

MCB’s own Jacob Boes dived into this idea of Wentz sticking in the rotation as a mainstay near the end of the Tigers season. With the 2022 season ending and Wentz getting just seven starts over the summer with a shoulder injury that kept him off the field for June, July, and August.

Over his seven total starts (two in May, four in September, and one in October), Wentz accumulated 32.2 innings of work. He pitched to a 3.03 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP and was able to punch out 27 opposing hitters.

He’s battled a brutal injury history but has seemingly begun to make some strides and is showing this off this fall. While the AFL is full of prospects, not the current big leaguers he faced during the season, seeing him build confidence in his stuff and succeed like this is awesome.

Building off a good fall performance will only help Wentz. As Boes mentions in his piece (linked above), he felt Wentz had more of a bullpen feel to his stuff. But, this season, he has shown up and made his big league debut, battling back through injuries and looking like he has it figured out.

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Moving forward, the Tigers will need some pitchers to eat up innings for the 2023 season; if Wentz can hold down one of those spots, it will only help the team moving forward.

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