Detroit Tigers: Joey Wentz looking to solidify spot in rotation after showing growth

Mar 10, 2023; Lakeland, Florida, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Joey Wentz (43) pitches during a Spring Training contest.
Mar 10, 2023; Lakeland, Florida, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Joey Wentz (43) pitches during a Spring Training contest. / Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Tigers pitcher Joey Wentz is looking to solidify role.

The Detroit Tigers are inching closer and closer to the 2023 season as the team prepares to kick things off. The Tigers will open up against Tampa Bay in Florida, so they are "staying put" and will get to settle in before the team has to head north and brave the cold.

One of the players that is looking to start strong and make the most of his opportunities with the Detroit Tigers during the 2023 season is left-handed pitcher Joey Wentz. The southpaw has been a part of the team's plans since he was acquired. He battled some adversity and injuries but finally got back on track and has really taken some strides.

Where Wentz is at now is a much better place than where he was a calendar year ago in March of 2022. While Wentz did earn a chance to make his big league debut during the 2022 season, it was not without hard work, and Wentz is really working hard to get things going in the right direction as he is going to start with the team's rotation.

Wentz would make seven starts with the Tigers, where he logged 32.2 innings pitched in 2022. He pitched to a 3.03 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP and was able to punch 27 punchouts while walking 13. He did a good job settling into the team's rotation and offered plenty to like moving forward.

However, the Tigers left-hander is looking to really cement his role in 2023. He went out to the Arizona Fall League (AFL) in 2023 and quickly was the Tigers' best prospect who was sent out west. He dominated during his appearances and was sent home from the AFL early after he dominated the opposition.

Wentz made just three starts during the 2022 AFL season, but Wentz issued just four walks and allowed two hits. He did not allow a run and threw 12 scoreless innings while punching out 14 opposing hitters. His first start was even a four-inning outing where he was perfect -- 12 up, 12 down.

Heading into the 2023 season, Wentz will likely anchor the no.5 spot in the rotation as he looks to settle in again and prove that he can be a true big-league option for the team's rotation. The Tigers have to be looking forward to seeing what Wentz can do on the mound this season.

He's continued to show growth, refining his command and pitch mix to really get things in a good spot heading into 2023. Even though the Spring campaign was not great for him on the stat sheet, there's still plenty of reason to be interested in how Wentz performs heading into 2023.

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