Wenceel Pérez has done enough to stay with Tigers

Apr 28, 2024; Detroit, Michigan, USA;  Detroit Tigers right fielder Wenceel Perez (46) receives
Apr 28, 2024; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Tigers right fielder Wenceel Perez (46) receives / Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Tigers will have Andy Ibáñez coming back from the IL more than likely this week in time for the Cardinals, who are coming into town on Monday. The question becomes who will be heading down to Toledo or designated for assignment?

First, let's start with right-handed batting Buddy Kennedy, who got called up when Gio Urshela went down with a hamstring injury. He has made the most of his time with a home run in 13 plate appearances and has played solid defense at third.

Another player to watch is Colt Keith. His strikeout rate of 17.6% ranks in the 73rd percentile in all of baseball. Keith's advanced metrics, such as an expected batting average (xBA) of .250 and a Fielding Run Value of 1, highlight his value in the field. He had some bad moments on Saturday but made up for it with a slick play on Sunday.

However, the power he demonstrated in the minors in 2023 has yet to appear in 2024. His isolated power (ISO) number, which was .012 as of Sunday, is the lowest among qualified major league hitters. There are indications that Keith is getting close, but the hits have not falling yet, as he went hitless on Sunday in four plate appearances.

Speaking of struggles at the plate, Parker Meadows, despite his double on Sunday, is still batting .091 on the season but has certainly made up for it with his play in center field. His Fielding Run Value of 3 puts him among the 95th percentile in the league, but his 40% K rate is among the worst.

Whatever the move will be, Wencell Pérez's performance on Sunday against the Royals has it clear he has a clear enough of a case to stay in Detroit. He finished 2-for-4 and hit his first major league home run. Over his last five games, he has hit .286/.359/.514 (10-for-35) including Sunday's performance.

Pérez is serviceable in the outfield, which could give to logically having Meadows go down. Perez's struggles in the infield have been a mix of just missing throws to first base from second to bobbling the ball from time to time.

Detroit can't afford to have Perez out there with the issues he has had in the infield, which is why this decision will be an interesting one, but Pérez has shown he can hit major league pitching and with the team's offensive struggles, the Tigers could use all the hitting help they can get.