Detroit Tigers reliever Will Vest struggling to find groove at Spring Training
By Tyler Kotila
Detroit Tigers reliever Will Vest struggling in Lakeland.
Spring Training is continuing to wind down, and the Detroit Tigers will continue making their cuts and roster decisions. The team's bullpen is one of the areas with spots up for grabs and room to change things up as the team gets back in action.
Reliever Will Vest is one of the players the Detroit Tigers are going to have some discussions about as the team makes some of their final roster decisions. The 27-year-old reliever settled into the bullpen last summer and was used in an all-purpose role at times.
He proved to be a solid option for A.J. Hinch to give the ball to at times. He would finish the 2022 season with 59 appearances, including two starts and eight games finished. He accumulated 63.0 innings pitched while pitching to a 4.00 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP.
Vest walked 22 opposing hitters while being able to punch out 63 during the 2022 season. He was one of the players who stepped up in the wake of the Tigers' pitching injuries that continued to mount as the summer went on.
But this Spring, he looks a lot less like the pitcher that he was during the 2022 season. In his latest outing on Wednesday, Vest struggled and got hit around once again. He has allowed 13 runs over four innings in five games for the Tigers this Spring.
After his latest Spring Training outing, Vest carries a lackluster 29.25 ERA. He has been toying with some of his mechanics to try and get his delivery under control, but the on-field results have certainly been horrendous.
Even though Vest's struggles were chalked up to be issues because his mechanics were out of sync, after working on them, things have not gotten much better. The thought was that Vest was going to be able to iron out his delivery and get back to where he was in 2022.
But, after the continued struggles from Vest this Spring, it makes it seem like there may be a spot open in the team's bullpen as the 2023 season kicks off. The Tigers may be able to bring another pitcher north to join the team's bullpen.
It will be interesting to see what the makeup of the bullpen is in 2023, but with Vest struggling, it has to raise the question of how long the leash is there before he gets replaced.