Detroit Tigers newbie Nick Maton vying for time with club in 2023.
This off-season the Detroit Tigers made a trade with the Philadelphia Phillies that sent Gregory Soto to the Phillies in exchange for Nick Maton, Donny Sands, and Matt Vierling. The deal was a bigger one, bringing in three players now vying for time on the 2023 big league roster.
At Spring Training in Lakeland, it's been a common sight to see Nick Maton and Matt Vierling together as the Detroit Tigers keep tuning up for competition in the 2023 season. The name of the game for the Tigers is versatility, being able to move around the field. It's something A.J. Hinch has made clear that the Tigers will focus on getting into 2023.
Maton fits that build and will be vying for time in the Tigers lineup, wherever he can find room in 2023. That might be third base for him as he tries to settle into the position well and prove he deserves some starts over at the hot corner.
According to his Baseball Reference, Maton is listed as a second baseman, shortstop, and outfielder. That is based on his time with the Phillies, but the Tigers have been working him out as a third baseman this Spring.
I'd expect Maton to get chances at second and third base and maybe sprinkle in some outfield as needed for the Tigers. He could very well serve as an off-the-bench option for Hinch to call upon in 2023, but I think his best chance to crack the lineup will be at third.
In 2022, Maton played in 34 games with the Phillies, where he slashed .250/.341/.514 with two doubles, a triple, and five home runs over 72 at-bats. It was his second go-round with the Phillies, making his debut in 2021, where he played in 52 games with a .256/.323/.385 slash line with ten extra-base hits over 117 at-bats.
He has not been a consistent face in a big-league lineup and may not be that in 2023 as well, but the Tigers are going to find use for him, that's for sure. With the team's third base role likely to be filled by a plethora of names, several players come to mind.
The Tigers are likely going to use Maton in a similar role to what the Phillies did, but he will likely be looking to prove he deserves some at-bats and ultimately starts at the hot corner in 2023.