Detroit Tigers need to be patient with infielder Ryan Kreidler.
The Detroit Tigers need to be smart with their options this year in free agency. The options at third base are ultra-thin and going to leave some decisions to be made. Justin Turner headlines the top of the free agent class at third base, but things get weak below that quickly.
With the fall off being real, finding a third baseman on the market seems less and less likely. But beyond that, the Tigers are not super stacked from within the organization. Ryan Kreidler made his debut in 2022 but is still not quite ready to be an everyday guy.
He still needs that seasoning and that time to settle in as a big leaguer. Something has to change because the Tigers cannot go through the 2023 season with Kreidler being the primary option at third base.
The 25-year-old infielder has potential and could be a piece of the Tigers' puzzle moving forward, but he needs more time to acclimate. With a thin free-agent market, Scott Harris may have to find someone on the trade market to fill the void.
It's hard to see Kreidler being the everyday starter in 2023 after just 26 games played this summer. However, with the free agent market being so thin, there's a chance it's a platoon situation that allows Kreidler to take his time and continue acclimating.
Being able to give him that time is going to help the Tigers develop him to be an asset for the team. A platoon situation would allow the Tigers to keep believing in Kreidler and being patient with him while having a proven guy ahead of him to platoon and show him the ropes.
In 26 games, Kreidler has 72 at-bats, producing a .178/.244/.233 slash with just a double and home run to his credit on the extra-base hit front. He was punched out 22 times. There's plenty more room for him to improve, and platooning would still allow him the chance to keep working.
With new hitting coach and philosophy, there's reason to believe Kreidler should be able to tap into some things and make some changes for the better. Either way, the Tigers need to be patient with the right-handed bat. He had such a limited showing in his first go; he still needs time to find his footing, especially after his numbers were that rough.
Harris still has a lot of off-season left to bring in another option at third, but either way, Kreidler still deserves looks with the big league club in 2023.