Detroit Tigers: Rony García looking to be flexible arm in 2023
Detroit Tigers Rony García aiming to play flex role in bullpen.
As the Spring Training news starts to flood in as things get going, one of the players hoping to find his way into a flex role with the Detroit Tigers bullpen is Rony García. The right-handed reliever has yet to settle himself into the big leagues but is hoping to play a flex role in 2023.
Spring Training brings a plethora of arms to Lakeland to compete for spots on the roster, and García is just one of those players in the mix for the Detroit Tigers' 26-man roster. He's hoping to travel north with the team to Detroit to start the 2023 season.
For the Tigers, utilizing García in a flex role out of the bullpen in 2023 will be how they get the most out of their reliever. The right-handed pitcher has been with the team for each of the last three seasons after being selected in the 2019 Rule 5 Draft from the New York Yankees organization.
In 2020, García logged 21.0 innings pitched, where he managed an 8.14 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP and punched out 14 opposing hitters. Indeed not the smoothest performance, but it's expected from a Rule 5 Draft player who's likely thrown into the fire.
In 2021, García was hurt a good bit and threw just 3.2 innings on the season. But last summer, he was used all over the pitching staff, being a long relief option, a quick inning here and there guy, and even as a starter.
García accumulated 51.0 innings pitched over 16 appearances. He made eight starts and had two games that he finished up. He pitched to a 4.41 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP while striking out 48 opposing hitters, issuing just 13 walks.
He may not be a high-end reliever or some top-tier player, but the Tigers have made him into a serviceable relief option out of the team's bullpen and even used him as a starter. If he can slot into the right-handed version of what Tyler Alexander does, they could have a flex arm to rely on in 2023.
His number seeing an uptick would serve him well. The Tigers have to expect him to be a long relief option in 2023, but after changes this off-season with the departure of Joe Jiménez and Gregory Soto, there could be some realignment.
García could very well cement himself a role with the team in 2023 if he continues to prove able to be a flexible pitcher when the Tigers need him. This spring is a chance for him to go out and prove that.