Detroit Tigers: Can Alex Faedo earn his way back to big leagues in 2023?

Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Alex Faedo (49) pitches during the 2022 season.
Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Alex Faedo (49) pitches during the 2022 season. / Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Alex Faedo needs a comeback in 2023.

The Detroit Tigers are getting ready for the 2023 season as Spring Training continues to inch closer. The Tigers will have a healthy pitching staff as they hope to avoid a major breakdown full of injuries once again.

In 2022, the Detroit Tigers pitching staff struggled to field a group of healthy arms on a weekly basis. However, one of the players who will try and earn his way back to the big leagues during the 2023 season will be Alex Faedo.

The 27-year-old right-handed pitcher is still trying to find his footing at the big-league level. He finally made his debut in 2022 but is hoping he'll get the call back to the big leagues again. Even after getting his feet wet in 2022, there's still a way for him to prove himself as a big leaguer.

Frankly, Faedo needs to start kicking it into gear if he wants to be a part of this team's pitching staff moving forward. He may have to shift into a bullpen role if that's the case. Especially with the rotation being rounded out, with Casey Mize and Tarik Skubal on the Injured List (IL).

In 2022, Faedo made 12 starts, totaling 53.2 innings pitched. He managed a 5.53 ERA, a 1.64 WHIP, and walked 25 while punching out 44 opposing hitters. Certainly, the Tigers had to be hoping for more from him, but it was his first chance in the big leagues.

After all, Faedo was a former first-rounder, being selected with the 18th overall pick in the 2017 MLB Draft out of the University of Florida collegiate program. The interesting thing is his road to the big leagues has not been the most exciting.

I've held onto the belief that if Faedo did not build out and define his pitch mix more, he's better suited for a relief role. He's a two-pitch guy. He may have three offerings: a fastball, a slider, and a changeup, but he's a two-pitch dominant reliever.

The slider tunnels well off the fastball, looking similar out of the hand from a higher slot. The pitch has horizontal break to it and can be a tigher shape at times. He's got an excellent feel for the slider, being able to throw it with tighter shape, a bit cutter-like, or give it that wrinkle with some more tilt to it.

It's a big-league offering, but I'm just not sure it plays over a full outing. For Faedo, his way back into the big leagues to join the 26-man roster is going to be as a reliever. Faedo would be able to find his way back to the big leagues if he was able to really hone in on his stuff and being a really good option for one-time through the order or less.

As 2023 inches closer, Faedo needs to work his way to the big league roster again. He may be able to fast-track that as a reliever since the starting options are looking to be filled right now.

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