Detroit Tigers closer Alex Lange likely to embrace role in 2023.
As the Detroit Tigers continue to tune things up ahead of the 2023 season, one bullpen arm is likely to take on a new role during the summer. Even though the Tigers are non-commital on a specific closer, Alex Lange will be the team's primary ninth-inning option.
After working through the organization as a starter, the right-handed reliever was converted to a reliever. He's settled into the bullpen quite well and worked his way up the depth chart. In 2023, Lange will likely handle ninth-inning duties and will likely be the team's best high-leverage relief option.
While this opportunity likely comes because of the trade of Gregory Soto to the Phillies this off-season, Lange was already in position to be relied on more after a solid 2022 season working out of the bullpen.
The 2022 season saw Lange pitch in 71 games, where he managed 63.1 innings thrown. Lange managed a 3.41 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP and punched out 82 opposing hitters while finding ways to dominate out there.
The former LSU Tigers pitcher has impressive stuff with a nasty curveball he often turns to for success. In fact, Lange is not afraid to start off an at-bat with an 0-0 breaker, being able to freeze hitters at times or force uncomfortable swings early in an at-bat.
If there's one thing that Lange has been able to capitalize on, it has been causing the opposition to have uncomfortable at-bats while also trying to get ahead in counts. He's already shown mechanical improvements from 2021 to 2022; expect him to continue to refine things and continue to be the most efficient mover he can be.
Lange had an excellent showing in 2022, settling in as a reliever; the Tigers must be excited about what he can bring to the table in 2023. He will get his chance to close games for the Tigers, and he's clearly the most deserving option to do so.
The 2023 season may not be the most fun to watch and could be rough at times, but the Tigers must be excited about what Lange can do for the bullpen. He gives fans who really care about the future construction of this team something to watch.
He will likely be someone this pitching staff relies on down the line. He should be able to find success in the closer role but could very well be a high-leverage reliever with plenty of upside in 2023 and beyond.