Detroit Tigers add another depth reliever in Seth Elledge

Feb 25, 2021; St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Seth Elledge (61) throws during spring training workouts
Feb 25, 2021; St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Seth Elledge (61) throws during spring training workouts / Rhona Wise-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Tigers add depth reliever in Seth Elledge.

The Detroit Tigers recently picked up a reliever in Seth Elledge, a soon-to-be 27-year-old right-hander who was brought in from the New York Mets organization. He was immediately optioned to the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens roster.

This claim & option corresponded with the Detroit Tigers' move of Beau Brieske to the 60-day Injured List with an ulnar nerve injury. Elledge has not pitched in the big leagues since the 2021 season when he was with the St. Louis Cardinals organization.

However, Elledge has been kicking around the Triple-A level with the Atlanta Braves and the Mets, who would eventually DFA him. After all, his stats in 2023 were not pretty for the Mets Triple-A affiliate, where he logged ten appearances with 14.2 innings pitched. Elledge managed a lackluster 6.75 ERA and a 1.91 WHIP.

Elledge may not be some high-end reliever, but like another recent addition to the bullpen in Braden Bristo, who was brought in from the Tampa Bay Rays, some intriguing qualities could make him a valuable depth addition.

While Bristo has outlier stuff that helps him attack hitters and cracked the big leagues in 2023, Elledge is looking to return to the bigs for the first time since the 2021 season. He has amassed 23.1 innings pitched over 23 games in his time in Major League Baseball between 2020 and 2021.

Elledge has pitched to a 4.63 ERA and a 1.67 WHIP and managed 25 strikeouts while working out of the Cardinals bullpen. He has a three-pitch arsenal that helps him attack hitters, being a sinker/slider/changeup guy.

The sinker works the low- to mid-90s averaging around 93.9 mph in his last stint in the big leagues, according to Baseball Savant. The pitch had an average spin up around the 2,275 RPM mark. He paired it with his slider that works the low-80s with spin that has been up above the 2,400 RPM range. He seldom flashes the changeup, being a primarily two-pitch mix guy.

The two pitches may not be much and may not be something that helps him mix his pitches a ton, but he has unique movement patterns that allow him to attack hitters with two solid offerings. The slider is very much so a vertical breaking pitch with a bigger 11-5-looking shape with a great bite to it.

The 6-foot-3, 240-pound right-hander operates from a bigger and more physical build. He moves down the mound with good intent and direction. He's got a bit of similarity to Michael Fulmer in his delivery and the way they move down the mound through release.

The Tigers will stash Elledge in the minors with Triple-A Toledo and see if he can settle in and get things under control. He's likely nothing more than a Triple-A reliever with depth upside, but the two-pitch mix is intriguing.

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