Detroit Tigers starter Kenta Maeda continues his downward spiral

During the offseason, the Detroit Tigers signed starting pitcher Kenta Maeda to a two-year deal. So far, he has been less than desirable and has led fans to question the amount of trust they should have in the starter.
Detroit Tigers starter Kenta Maeda walks off after a rough outing against the Texas Rangers.
Detroit Tigers starter Kenta Maeda walks off after a rough outing against the Texas Rangers. / Mark Cunningham/GettyImages

I won't yet say that I told you so, but I told you so. This offseason I wrote that the Kenta Maeda signing, along with everything else, was a mistake: two years, $24 million. Thus far, it has been nothing short of a disaster. A disaster to the hum of a 7.64 ERA and a STAGGERING seven home runs allowed in only 17.2 IP. It has been smooth sailing. 12 strikeouts over those 17-2/3 innings shows he is not getting swings and misses. So, no swings and misses + hard contact = trainwreck.

Maeda has had a history of giving up the long ball in his career. He has never given up less than 13 home runs in a season excluding the COVID-riddled 2020 season. This comes while pitching for the Dodgers and Twins, who have relatively pitcher-friendly ballparks. So, why the team went out and spent money on a guy who already struggles with home runs is beyond my comprehension, but so are most of the things that Scott Harris does. This alarming trend in long balls is continuing and appears to be taking another step in the wrong direction.

Velocity has been another concern for the veteran. Although he has never been a flamethrower, but a nearly two-mile-per-hour drop in his fastball from last year to this year is very concerning. He has been averaging an 89 mph fastball, leading to a .455 batting average against fastballs. Think about that, nearly one out of every two fastballs he throws is getting hit. YIKES!

Kenta Maeda needs to turn it around if he wants the Detroit Tigers to keep him around.

This is the player that this team brought in to be a mentor to the young pitchers. This is the guy that should not be advising the young pitchers. He has overstayed his welcome in the league. His time has come to be done. If it helps him, I will even hang the nail for him to hang up his cleats. 35 years old, decreasing velocity and swings and misses along with increased batting average against and exit velocity is just about the worst combination possible.

If he wants a chance to stay with the team in any sort of pertinent role, he needs to get his act together. This could come from him mixing his pitches better or working on his control more to increase his whiffs. If he cannot come up with anything, we are in for a LONG season of LONG homers against Mr. Maeda.