Detroit Tigers: Alex Lange getting back on track as the team's closer
By Tyler Kotila
Detroit Tigers are seeing Alex Lange settle into closer role.
Early on in the 2023 season, one of the big overreactions was the Detroit Tigers was the lack of consistency out of the bullpen. Coming into the season, there was going to be some worry about the team's ability to call on some of these pitchers in relief roles consistently.
For the Detroit Tigers, it had to be a bit worrisome since the team went out and traded Joe Jiménez and Gregory Soto this winter. The team lost two big pieces, and there was hope for players like Alex Lange and Jose Cisnero to step up, as well as Jason Foley to move into a more prominent role.
Some of the familiar faces were struggling to start the season. But the Tigers have seen things almost do a complete 180 to be in a much better spot. For example, Lange sputtered coming out of the gates in 2023, and he has really settled in after getting into the month of May.
When it comes to Lange, the makings to be an impressive reliever are there, and 2023 was his chance to really earn the closing role and lock it down. There's still plenty of time to do so, but after the rough start to the season, there was a little bit of worry.
However, things have turned around and are looking up in terms of Lange's performance. Lange has pitched in 16 games for the Tigers, where he's closed out six saves, with nine games finished, totaling 15.2 innings pitched to this point.
In his outings in 2023, Lange has pitched to a 1.15 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP, speaking to his efficiency on the mound. He has issued six walks and punched out 21 opposing hitters along the way as well. He's been dominant, and it has really allowed the Tigers' bullpen to move in the right direction.
He is not the only one who has improved, but seeing Lange start to settle back into the closer role and find his way in 2023 is great. He does a good job attacking hitters, and the breaking ball is absolutely filthy, speaking to his 21 opposing hitters.
There has to be hope that Lange can continue this level of performance and be an anchor in the back end of the bullpen. Especially after a really impressive performance in 2022, the Tigers have to hope that he can continue tosettle in as a big league closer in 2023.