Detroit Tigers signee is a dark horse to make waves in the team's rotation

The Detroit Tigers signed Jack Flaherty this off-season to a prove-it contact. He has a chance to make waves in the team's rotation this summer.
Detroit Tigers pitcher Jack Flaherty throws during spring training at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Fla.
Detroit Tigers pitcher Jack Flaherty throws during spring training at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Fla. / Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Detroit Tigers signed Jack Flaherty to a one-year, $14 million contract this off-season. It's more of a prove-it deal for the 28-year-old trying to get things back on track. However, there's still reason to be excited about Flaherty joining the Tigers rotation in 2024.

It's still early to see where he factors in, but the Detroit Tigers should be expecting him to be a dark horse within the rotation. He's got the potential to make some noise. After all, Flaherty is a former first-rounder who has pitched well enough to receive Cy Young Award votes in the past.

Flaherty's proven he can get it done and has proven there's a ton of talent to like; the thing has been doing it consistently. Flaherty has not quite been able to recreate his success, and the end of his tenure with the St. Louis Cardinals was far less exciting than when he debuted with the club.

He was traded to the Baltimore Orioles last season but hit the free agent market last winter. Detroit picked up the right-handed pitcher, hoping he could bring his upside to the Tigers' starting rotation in 2024. If things click for him, there's a lot of upside here.

Detroit Tigers pitcher Jack Flaherty has a chance to make some serious noise.

In 2023, Flaherty made 20 starts with the Cardinals, where he pitched to a 4.43 ERA and 1.55 WHIP over 109.2 innings pitched. Flaherty walked 54 opposing hitters with 106 strikeouts during his tenure with St. Louis ahead of the trade to the Orioles, where he jumped in with their rotation.

In Baltimore, Flaherty made seven starts with two relief appearances. Things did not go as swimmingly, where he managed a 6.63 ERA and 1.67 WHIP, with 12 walks and 46 punchouts over 34.2 innings pitched. It was a far cry from the pitcher he had shown he can be in past years.

Now, in 2024, Flaherty is looking to right the ship and get things back on track for this upcoming season with the new squad. While his first start of the spring was quite abbreviated, he did navigate a scoreless inning of work to garner some attention along the way.

Flaherty needed just ten pitches to retire the side, throwing nine strikes en route to his clean inning of work. Three up and three down for Flaherty, who showed a slight uptick in his fastball velocity in the small sample size.

If the Tigers can extract some value from Flaherty in 2024, it'll be a big deal for both the team and Flaherty. This year is a prove-it year, as mentioned above. From the sounds of it, Flaherty has made some tweaks to his off-season work -- hopefully, he can reap the benefits.