The Detroit Tigers bullpen was their biggest strength in 2022 & it looks like that may be the case again in 2023.
Jason Foley especially has taken a leap forward in 2023. In his four-out save against the Milwaukee Brewers his fastball was sitting around 97-98 mph. At the age of 27, Jason Foley is showing he can be a pitcher the Detroit Tigers can count on moving forward.
Foley has two saves on the year & has lowered his ERA to 1.74 in 10.1 innings pitched. Foley's strikeout percentage is at 22.2%, a career best. His fastball velocity sits in the 92nd percentile in MLB.
Alex Lange, who was probably regarded as the Detroit Tigers best reliever headed into the year, has lived up to expectations. The 27-year-old sits in the 93rd percentile in Barrel %. Lange's ERA sits at 1.64 through 11 innings pitched.
Mason Englert has been a postive for the Detroit Tigers bullpen as well. The 23-year-old is proving to be a smart pick in the Rule 5 Draft & has been a workhorse for the Tigers. Englert was known for his strike throwing ability & has a very solid 5.6% walk percentage.
Englert's hard-hit percentage is also below league average, as his sits at 31.6% & league average is 35.9%. The righty has not allowed an earned run in his last six innings of work, including recording eight big outs against the Brewers in game two.
Some fans will question if Englert should be moved to the rotation, but he has seemed to find his stride in the bullpen. Tigers' fans are hopeful this is a sign of things to come & Englert can be a long-term piece for Detroit moving forward.
Other Tigers relivers having encouraging seasons include Tyler Holton, Chasen Shreve & Jose Cisnero. Tyler Holton, who was called recently has yet to give up an earned run in 5.1 innings of work.
Chasen Shreve has been the Tigers go-to lefty & has been a very solid presence for Detroit. After a rough season in 2022 where his ERA was over six, he looks healthy & has been effective so far in 2023.
Jose Cisnero has been a steady presence for the Detroit Tigers bullpen since 2019. The 34-year-old's walk percentage sits at just 5.4%, a career best. Cisnero's strikeout rate is a career low, so that is a storyline to follow in 2023.
Despite the early season hiccups, the Detroit Tigers bullpen shows promise. It is a feather in the cap of Scott Harris, who traded Gregory Soto & Joe Jimenez. He also lost Andrew Chafin to free agency as well this offseason.