Detroit Tigers outfielder Matt Vierling's season full of ups and downs.
The Detroit Tigers went out and traded Gregory Soto to the Philadelphia Phillies before the 2023 season. Matt Vierling was added as part of the trade package. He was brought in with hopes of getting him involved in his first year.
For the Detroit Tigers, one of the areas that they needed help with was the third base hole, as well as a depth in the outfield. The good thing for Detroit is that Vierling can fill both of those roles, and he did that during the 2023 season.
The first year in Detroit did not exactly go swimmingly for Matt Vierling, but he was able to get through it. Overall, it was a fine performance, but it was a bit inconsistent, being full of some ups and downs as the summer continued.
At times it felt like Vierling was struggling to do much of anything at the dish, at others, it felt like he had the chance to be a good spot-filler for the time being. He's no all-star, but he could very much so be a platoon player on a good team. But Detroit is not a good team, so they're relying on him full-time.
In 2023, Vierling played in 134 games, where he managed 530 plate appearances. Vierling produced a .261/.329/.388 with 21 doubles, five triples, and ten home runs with 44 RBI to his credit. He managed 44 walks with 112 strikeouts over his first season in Detroit.
He'll return in 2024 for Detroit. He's arbitration-eligible, so the Tigers will bring him back to hold down a role in the Tigers outfielder. Vierling is still a piece of the puzzle, and the ability to play multiple positions just makes it even better.
Detroit's going to keep him around, and he's going to continue serving in a role as an outfielder or extra body on the infield. It depends on what the landscape of the Tigers roster looks like after this off-season comes and goes.
For the Detroit Tigers, it may not be one filled with targeting high-level free agents, but the Tigers will likely make a few additions. While Vierling may not be a huge piece of the puzzle in the long run, but with the Tigers continuing their rebuild, it'll take time.
Vierling's first season in Detroit showed what he's capable of; he just needs to be more consistent for the Tigers moving forward.