Detroit Tigers looking to build confidence in reliever Will Vest
By Tyler Kotila
Detroit Tigers trying to instill some confidence in Will Vest.
The Detroit Tigers were on a roll, but things turned sour quickly after two tough losses to the Baltimore Orioles. One of the areas that has been a mess to this point in 2023 is the bullpen. They have had some shaky performances and seen some struggles.
Trey Wingenter was added to the 15-day Injured List (IL), and as part of a corresponding move, the Detroit Tigers brought up Will Vest from Triple-A Toledo to join the teams' bullpen for Saturday's game. He was already back up with the team in the Tigers doubleheader vs. Cleveland but was not called upon while serving as the 27th man.
After some struggles during Spring Training, the Tigers relegated Vest to the minors to join the Mud Hens going into the 2023 season. The hope was that after a strong 2022 season working out of the Tigers bullpen, he would be able to get the job done when the team needed him.
This spring was not kind to Vest, who struggled to find the success and level of performance he had shown in 2022. But the Tigers have not written Vest off. Going into the regular season, Vest understood the decision for him to start with Triple-A, and Hinch made it clear that he was going to get chances, and now is his chance.
The team is hoping to get some innings under his belt, get some confidence behind him, and get him back on track. He made his first appearance for the Tigers on Saturday, throwing two scoreless innings, punching out four opposing hitters. He did not allow a baserunner in the outing.
One of the things that is going to help Vest is building upon good outings. Being able to snowball a couple of solid appearances out of the bullpen together allows him to build some confidence. It's only going to help him try to get back to where he was in 2022.
After all, he was a serviceable relief option on this Tigers team, and it's worth noting. He deserves the chance to prove he be that for them once again. He may be a temporary addition in the absence of Wingenter, who's dealing with the tendinitis issue, but Vest will get a chance to prove he can stick.
Vest will get his chance, and Hinch will try to build some confidence in the right-hander by calling upon him over the next few games.