Detroit Tigers: Can Brendan White impress enough for a bullpen spot?
Detroit Tigers reliever Brendan White trying to earn bullpen spot.
The Detroit Tigers Spring Training slate of games is underway. The team is starting to get into games and putting players in spots to see what they have. One of the players who has been thrown into competition is Brendan White.
The 24-year-old right-hander was named to the 40-man roster this off-season to avoid losing him in the Rule 5 Draft. He earned it after a solid season with Double-A Erie in 2022. The Siena College native comes into Spring Training looking to build upon his big 2022 summer and prove he's worth keeping around the Detroit Tigers roster.
He will likely get sent to Triple-A and be someone the team calls upon down the line if needed. But there's a chance a strong Spring could earn him an opportunity with the Tigers, and his start to the 2023 Spring was a good one.
He went out and was able to pitch effectively, working a mostly three-pitch mix. Not to mention that the sliders that he threw had an average spin rate of over 3,000 RPMs per a Jason Beck tweet. He finished his outing with a clean inning of work and two punchouts to his credit.
If the Tigers are genuinely going to piece together a bullpen with the best performers from the Spring (within reason/roster constraints), White has a chance to play himself onto the roster. This is just one singular outing, but White has shown that he's got some intriguing stuff.
The biggest question for White is moving from Double-A to the big league level, skipping the Triple-A level, which could be a challenging jump. In 2022, White made 48 appearances with 67.1 innings pitched on the season for the Double-A Erie squad.
White pitched to a 2.67 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP and punched out 73 opposing hitters while surrendering just 17 walks. He's come into Spring Training looking to show his stuff against some big-league talent and prove he can benefit the Tigers' pitching staff.
The Tigers youngster has been working to better define his pitch mix and be a dynamic arm that can attack hitters with a full attack. He has reportedly added a cutter to his pitch mix, which should play well off of his slider and allow him to attack hitters with a pitch mix that tunnels well out of hand.
The bullpen will be full of competition this Spring, and White will do his best to bring his A-game to battle for a spot ahead of the 2023 season. Keep an eye on White as he continues to make appearances during the Spring.