Can Beau Brieske crack the Detroit Tigers roster?
Spring Training is off and running, and the Detroit Tigers are starting to see their 2023 roster take shape. One of the things that will be worth keeping an eye on is the team's pitching staff. After a 2022 season full of injuries, a few arms find themselves on the outside looking in as of now who were consistent faces last summer.
One of those players is Beau Brieske, a staple of the Detroit Tigers starting rotation in 2022 among all the injuries. Heck, at one point, he found himself on the Injured List (IL), but seeing Brieske find his way into the Tigers' rotation was huge for them.
The Tigers may have to relegate him down to the minors to start 2023 with how the staff takes shape. The way things stand, the rotation will be as follows:
1. Eduardo Rodriguez
2. Spencer Turnbull
3. Matthew Boyd
4. Michael Lorenzen
5. Matt Manning
This leaves no room for the Tigers to have Brieske back in the rotation after making 15 starts for the team in 2022. Brieske accumulated 81.2 innings pitched over his 15 starts with a 4.19 ERA and 1.20 WHIP.
While Brieske is not known for his strikeouts, he did manage 54 punchouts with 25 walks along the way for the Tigers. Watching the right-hander go out and continually keep the Tigers in the game was fun watching, which is about all you can ask for from a pitcher who made just four starts with Triple-A Toledo in 2022.
It was a jump for Brieske, but he adjusted well and proved he can hang at the big-league level. For the Tigers moving forward, they have to think that Brieske can be relied upon as a starter when needed, but the issue is there are no spots in the rotation right now.
Relegating Brieske to a bullpen role is another option, but the Tigers have their fair share of long relief options vying for time in the bullpen. Mason Englert was selected in the Rule 5 Draft this year and even with a ton of inexperience, the Tigers have to keep him on the roster and likely will serve as a long-relief option.
Tyler Alexander returns as the team's left-handed long relief option for the 2023 season. Matt Wisler was recently signed on a non-roster invitee deal and is slated to make the roster with his unicorn stuff and makeup on the mound. He's not a starter by trade, but the Rays would use him to open games.
The Tigers would be putting a good chunk of long relievers in the bullpen, which seems like a bold move. Brieske's stuff was great in 2022, and he showed a lot to like, but I just have a hard time penciling in a spot as a starter.
He deserves looks in the big leagues, but Brieske might have to go to Toledo and serve as the next man up heading into 2023.