Examining the lefty bullpen options for the Detroit Tigers
While the Detroit Tigers may have disappointed in 2022, their bullpen was a bright spot for what seemed like the first time in forever. With his first offseason under his belt, I'm glad to say Scott Harris has continued to build the Detroit Tigers depth, especially in the bullpen. Let's preview the Tigers left-handed options in the bullpen this year and break down what we can expect from the southpaws.
Tigers' fans are most familiar with the 28-year-old left hander, who was a 23rd round pick in 2013. Alexander has been a part of the Tigers pitching staff since 2019, with his ERA sitting at 4.36 in 297.1 innings pitched. While he may not be the hardest thrower, Alexander's consistency and ability to be a long reliver makes him one of the favorites to lock down a spot in the Tiger bullpen this year.
The 32-year-old struggled mightily in 2022 with the New York Mets. Shreve will look to bounce back in 2023. Tigers fans would be happy if Shreve could replicate his 2021 season with the Pirates, where he put up an ERA of 3.20 in 56 innings pitched. Shreve has had a solid start to his spring training and has a veteran presence the Tigers will value in deciding if he will make the opening day roster.
A 26-year-old lefty picked up off waivers from the Diamondbacks this offseason, Holton has been very impressive in spring training. Holton's fastball sits in the low 90s, but does throw a solid cutter as well that has been effective for him. Holton has looked sharp in spring training and if he does not make the opening day roster, more than likely we will see him up in Detroit in 2023.
More than likley Joey Wentz will start the year in Toledo starting games for the Mud Hens, but that's not to say Wentz does not have a shot to make the club as a bullpen option as well. Wentz could play a similar role to Tyler Alexander and serve as a long-reliever for the bullpen. In his last five starts in 2022, Wentz put up a 1.73 ERA showing he can be an effective pitcher at the major league level. Wentz may be better off starting games, but if Harris wants Wentz to face major league talent, a spot in the bullpen could be in play for 2023.
Miguel Del Pozo
A dark horse candidate to make the roster, Del Pozo has been flying under the radar for the Tigers this spring. In 53.1 innings for Toledo in 2022, Del Pozo posted a 3.88 ERA, while striking out 66 hitters in the process. Del Pozo is a pitcher who will rely on his command with his fastball usually sitting in the low 90s. Del Pozo will likely start the season in Toledo, but his body of work makes him a quality depth option for Detroit this year.