Detroit Tigers bullpen is not the problem that it once was

Detroit Tigers bullpen is not a problem heading into 2024.

Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Tyler Holton (87) throws a pitch during a 2023 contest.
Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Tyler Holton (87) throws a pitch during a 2023 contest. / Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports
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Detroit Tigers bullpen is not a problem anymore.

Heading into 2024, anyone who has reservations about the Detroit Tigers bullpen should relax a bit. The Tigers have built themselves a more than serviceable bullpen to rely on moving forward. The bullpen should not be regarded as a problem like it once was.

Listen, the Detroit Tigers may not have a bullpen that will march through October and produce a World Series ring, but the team who will finish mid-tier in the American League (AL) Central? This bullpen will do just fine. The Tigers are not a contender, regardless of what folks think. I'd like to be an optimist, but right now, there's just no way. I don't see it that way.

But, one of the areas that many folks have been concerned about over the past five years and even beyond was the bullpen. At times, the Tigers had no one that they could trust to give the ball to coming out of the bullpen. However, the Tigers' new and improved bullpen is much better than it has been in years past.

The bullpen looks even better than it did during the 2023 season, and there were some excellent pieces to work with. The Tigers have made a few moves and also developed within to help them craft together a bullpen that will hold up over a 162-game season.

Going into 2024, the Tigers bullpen is in a good spot. For the most part, they are going to be relying on the same pitchers who they have been. Alex Lange is the team's "closer," as it seems. Then, on top of that, Jason Foley and Tyler Holton are the next two relievers up.

Foley has established himself as a true force in the bullpen. Holton had a nearly heroic breakout during the 2023 season. Seriously though, Holton's breakout performance was beyond impressive as he proved to be a true force in the bullpen. The southpaw proved that he could be someone A.J. Hinch could call upon whenever needed.

Then, the Tigers went out and brought back an old friend who should provide some more support for the bullpen. Andrew Chafin is back with Detroit, and they think he will come in and benefit the bullpen once again. Chafin may have been less exceptional in 2023, but he believes he will straighten things out again with Detroit.

Beyond those arms mentioned, there are arms like Will Vest and Beau Brieske, who will help pad the staff and serve in different roles. It will be interesting to see how each arm is used, but one thing is certain: this year's bullpen will not be a problem like the other ones have been.

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