Detroit Tigers could find some hidden value in Freddy Pacheco
Detroit Tigers claim Freddy Pacheco; looking to squeeze value from him.
The Detroit Tigers deemed it time to move Tarik Skubal to the 60-day Injured List (IL) to free up a roster spot. Scott Harris decided to use that roster spot to bring in relief pitcher Freddy Pacheco as a waiver claim after the St. Louis Cardinals optioned him.
Pacheco, a 24-year-old reliever out of Venezuela, has been with the Cardinals since the 2018 season. The Detroit Tigers must have seen something and wanted to squeeze some value out of the right-handed pitcher.
The caution tape here is that there has to be some reason that the Cardinals got rid of Pacheco other than the potential for a roster crunch. The Tigers faithful need to be careful with their excitement, but there is reason to think Pacheco could find some value.
According to a tweet from MLB Pipeline, Pacheco was the no.24 prospect on the Cardinals' top 30 prospect list last year. He slots in at no. 24 on the Tigers list after being claimed by the team.
Looking into Pacheco a bit further, he spent time with the Cardinals' Double-A and Triple-A affiliates, where he accumulated 62.0 innings pitched. He pitched to a 3.05 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP. Pacheco managed to walk just 28 while punching out 84 opposing hitters.
The right-hander works from a more compact build with some thickness and some physicality to his build. He's known for the fastball that gets up into the mid-to-upper-90s. He throws from a higher over-the-top slot with a cleaner arm stroke.
The fastball pairs with a slider that profiles out as a gyro slider that he uses to miss barrels. It tunnels well out of the hands but has a lot of velocity separation, which can lead to him getting hit at times. They tunnel well out of hand but are readable for big league hitters due to the separation.
He's more of a two-pitch guy without a feel for a consistent changeup, but the Tigers may be looking to build out his repertoire. Heck, as a reliever, they have some more freedom. I'm not a Tigers pitching coach by any means, but given that the fastball and slider already tunnel well and the slider is not bad, mixing in a cutter might not be a bad idea.
Blending the repertoire with a cutter might increase his ability to tunnel and blend his arsenal to keep hitters guessing a bit more. Something to consider as Pacheco gets settled into the Tigers organization.