Matt Vierling likely to bring versatility to Detroit Tigers in 2023

Tyler Kotila
Philadelphia Phillies center fielder Matt Vierling prepares for his next at-bat while on-deck against the Washington Nationals during the 2022 season.
Philadelphia Phillies center fielder Matt Vierling prepares for his next at-bat while on-deck against the Washington Nationals during the 2022 season. / Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports
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Matt Vierling likely to see big league time with Detroit Tigers in 2023.

The Detroit Tigers made a big move on Saturday when they traded closer Gregory Soto and infielder Kody Clemens to the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for Matt Vierling, Nick Maton, and Donny Sands.

Former Detroit Tigers General Manager (GM) Dave Dombrowski continues to try and power the Phillies for the 2023 season after falling just short of a World Series victory in 2022. Soto adds a piece to his team's bullpen, but on the flip side, Tigers fans were both happy and outraged, depending on who you asked.

One of the players that came back to Detroit in the trade was Matt Vierling, a 26-year-old who played in 117 games for the Phillies during the 2022 season. He is listed as a first baseman and outfielder for the Phillies organization but has already been tagged as a possible option for the third base role.

Vierling may not have played there in the big leagues, but Harris wants both Vierling and Nick Maton (also acquired in the trade) to expand their versatility positionally. Vierling will likely see the most playing time in the big leagues in 2023 amongst the players the Tigers acquired.

Last season, in 2022, Vierling accumulated 357 at-bats for the Phillies, where he slashed .246/.297/.351 with 12 doubles and six home runs to his credit. He was issued a free pass on 23 occasions and struck out 70 times in his second season, logging MLB appearances.

For the Tigers, this has to be a move where the Tigers feel that they can move him around positionally and use his athleticism to their advantage. Vierling has a 6-foot-3, 205-pound frame and is known to be an athletic player.

The Tigers also want players who dominate the strike zone. Not that his stats are off the wall or incredible he does show signs of being able to limit bad swings and does damage on good pitches. According to Baseball Savant, Vierling had a 19.5% whiff rate and a chase rate of 28.3%.

Overall, he has shown the ability to control his at-bats and stay disciplined. Looking at his BB:K numbers, there is still room to improve, but the foundation for good swing decisions seems to be there.

The Tigers are likely going to find a use for Vierling in 2023. Whether that is in the infield or outfield, he should be able to bring some value to the team in 2023. Some fans are outraged that the Tigers did not recoup the best MLB-ready talent or a top-tier prospect, but looking at Vierling, it's at least someone to be excited about.

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