Detroit Tigers: 4 overreactions to the opening series against the Rays
Overreaction #2: The bullpen looks far worse than last year
If there's anything to be worried about, this is it. The Tigers had the eighth best bullpen in baseball last year by ERA. But they lost four major contributors starting at the trade deadline last season. Scott Harris took a bunch of shots in the dark with guys like Trey Wingenter and Chasen Shreve in an effort to replace them. The results so far have not been great.
Shreve had a pretty good outing on Opening Day. He walked one and struck out two. But he had trouble executing his pitches on Sunday. In fact, most of the bullpen has had trouble executing pitches.
Wingenter struggled in relief on Saturday. He faced six batters and recorded just one out. His slider was nasty looking, but he couldn't get anyone to bite on it.
Jason Foley pitched in two similar situations this weekend. The Tigers needed a double play ball and he is the groundball specialist. For some reason, Tigers catchers kept having him throw sliders instead of his sinker, and he paid for it as a result. Eric Haase and Jake Rogers both had him throw sliders. It really doesn't make any sense.
Jose Cisnero walked a batter in his only appearance of the weekend. Rule 5 pick Mason Englert gave up a home run to Wander Franco in his MLB debut on Thursday in a "welcome to the big leagues" moment, but ended up retired the side in order after the fact. Garrett Hill walked two and gave up two runs in an inning of work. It wasn't a good weekend for the Tigers bullpen.
Relievers are highly volatile, so they could easily bounce back. But they could also keep being bad. Nobody could throw strikes this weekend. The Tigers really need to find some arms that can just pound the zone. They have a lot of options down in Toledo, and they'll likely cycle through them all this season. The bullpen is likely going to be wild ride in 2023.