What Detroit Tigers pitcher Jake Higginbotham brings to the table

San Diego Padres v Detroit Tigers
San Diego Padres v Detroit Tigers / Mark Cunningham/GettyImages

Learn more about Detroit Tigers LHP Jake Higginbotham

The time for change is now as the Detroit Tigers have lost two more important pieces. Pitcher Michael Fulmer has signed with the Chicago Cubs and Andrew Chafin has signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks. This means that two spots have opened up in the bullpen, and one of those voids could be filled by a recent acquisition, Jake Higginbotham.

Higginbotham was acquired from the Atlanta Braves with 3B/OF Justyn-Henry Malloy on December 7th in exchange for reliever Joe Jimenez and cash considerations. The 6-foot-0 and 190 lb left-hander is 27 years old and could be in line for his first year as a major leaguer. Higginbotham played for the Clemson Tigers in the NCAA before being drafted. He was selected by the New York Mets in the 27th round of the MLB Draft, yet did not sign. He was then drafted a second time, this time by the Atlanta Braves in the 11th round of the 2018 MLB Draft. He then signed with Atlanta for $125,000.

Higginbotham could be an asset once he hits the majors. With the loss of Fulmer and Chafin, the Detroit Tigers will be looking for bullpen help, and they acquired him from the Atlanta Braves because they saw something in him. Could he be sent to the AAA Toledo Mud Hens? Absolutely. However, he is not far from occupying one of the bullpen reliever spots. If nothing else, the Detroit Tigers could use him early in the season and see if he has what it takes to be a regular bullpen guy.

During the 2022 season, Higginbotham played for the double-A Mississippi Braves of the southern league. He was reliable and durable to the record of 2-5, while posting a 4.73 ERA, and striking out 48 in 51 innings. For his minor league career, Higginbotham has pitched 155 innings, he has a 3.30 ERA, 3.36 BB/9, and 9.44 K/9. Not elite numbers, but the Detroit Tigers do not need that. The Tigers just need someone to come in and shut the opposition down with little to no trouble. Higginbotham could be that guy.

If given the chance to shine, Higginbotham could make a difference with the Detroit Tigers. He is still young enough to make the roster and slot in as a reliever, beginning this season. The only thing that looks to be a lock is the starting rotation or most of it. The bullpen spots are up for grabs, and it is Higginbotham's turn to shine.

dark. Next. Detroit Tigers: Zack Short in a tough spot heading into 2023