Detroit Tigers: Chasen Shreve looking to pitch himself in bullpen role

Detroit Tigers pitcher Chasen Shreve warms up during spring training Sunday, Feb. 19, 2023 in Lakeland
Detroit Tigers pitcher Chasen Shreve warms up during spring training Sunday, Feb. 19, 2023 in Lakeland / Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK

Detroit Tigers reliever Chasen Shreve aiming to earn bullpen role in 2023.

The Detroit Tigers have begun Spring Training contests with their first two under their belt. It was a fun day on Saturday when the Tigers opened up Grapefruit league play with their win over the Phillies. Even with a loss to the Orioles on Sunday, seeing the Tigers back in action on the ball fields was exhilarating.

While the Detroit Tigers fans' hopes may not be extraordinarily high, there is reason to be excited and things to watch as the team gets back on the field and starts competing. One of the things is positional battles. One of them, in particular, is how the bullpen fills out.

For the Tigers, it will come down to which arms slot into the bullpen and which roles they carry. One of the players that are fighting for time with the bullpen in 2023 is Chasen Shreve, a left-handed reliever looking to pitch himself into the big league bullpen.

In early January, the Tigers agreed to a contract with Shreve, bringing him in on a minor league contract with an invite to big-league Spring Training. If he does indeed crack a spot on the Tigers' Opening Day roster and get a 26-man roster spot, Shreve will earn incentives above the $1 million threshold.

He's undoubtedly one of the arms to keep an eye on. The 32-year-old left-handed reliever may not be some top-tier addition, but he's got the potential to be an asset in the bullpen. Shreve pitched in 25 games last season with the Mets, where he logged 26.1 innings of work, pitching to a 6.49 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP.

Shreve's numbers are not going to jump off the page at you. But, with just ten walks and 29 strikeouts, the hope is that he can improve his attack on the mound to throw strikes, miss bats, and be a serviceable option out of the bullpen.

Plus, the only left-handed arm in the bullpen as things project is Tyler Alexander. Miguel Del Pozo is in the running, but if Shreve has a strong spring, it's worth bringing him north with the Tigers. The three-pitch mix that he employs makes him a soft-lefty with stuff that challenges the opposition.

In his first outing of the Spring, Shreve pitched a scoreless inning, allowing one hit and punching out two. While his 2022 season stats are not the most exciting, he's a left-hander, and the Tigers need a lefty for the bullpen.

His ability to miss bats with the split-change and a sinker/slider mix should be worth considering keeping around going into the regular season. The free agent depth signings for the bullpen may be thin; Shreve could wind up being a guy who travels north.

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