Detroit Tigers need a lot more from Nick Maton
The Detroit Tigers acquired Nick Maton ahead of the 2023 season when they pulled the trigger on a deal with the Philadelphia Phillies. Maton came to Detroit in the deal where they moved reliever Gregory Soto and recouped three different players.
The Detroit Tigers acquired Nick Maton and plugged him in right away. He found a way to impact the Tigers after a big spring last year. He started to show flashes of being beneficial to the Tigers in Spring Training.
He got off to an alright start, but things did not exactly stay that way. He was a bit inconsistent, and ultimately, his season ended with him heading to Triple-A Toledo. While he did hit for a cycle in September, he was hopeful to remain with the Tigers, but a demotion did him well.
Maton did log 93 games with the Tigers at the big-league level. He managed 293 plate appearances, slashing .173/.288/.305 with nine doubles and eight home runs. He had 38 walks with 73 strikeouts, struggling to really muster up much at the plate.
I'll be the first to admit I was high on Maton last year. I never thought he was going to be the future third baseman for the team, but I had hoped he would settle in. However, Maton just never really got it done. He showed glimpses in minimal flashes but has yet to find ways to lock down a big-league spot after crashing and burning last year.
But, looking ahead, something is going to have to give. The Tigers going out and signing Colt Keith to a six-year deal certainly instills some confidence in him. However, Keith is also going to lock up a roster spot. It's going to require the team to make some decisions on which other players will factor in.
With Keith likely going to push his way into the big leagues sooner rather than later, it will be harder to justify bringing someone like Nick Maton north. However, the FanGraphs depth chart still lists Maton as one of the team's extra infielders.
But looking ahead to 2024, Maton should not be with the Tigers. He can be punted to Triple-A, hoping to change things, but he should wait to start in Detroit. He needs to find a way to get things going. More confidence would potentially help him right the ship at the big-league level.
There's no telling what the Tigers will do with their roster quite yet, but Maton should not be on the big-league roster going into the 2024 season. With his struggles in 2023, he should not make the cut. He needs to get things going on the right track before he gets another shot in the big leagues.