Detroit Tigers: Could Joe Kelly be an answer for the bullpen?

(Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports)
(Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Detroit Tigers are going to have to make some moves when the team returns from the work stoppage. When things get moving once again, adding some support to the team’s bullpen is going to be crucial.

There are plenty of options out there for the Detroit Tigers to consider for bullpen additions, but they should have Joe Kelly‘s name circled as someone to consider. The 33-year old veteran pitcher has gone from a starter with the St. Louis Cardinals to a relief role with the Los Angeles Dodgers over ten long years in the big leagues.

He’s no stranger to the bullpen anymore and would not be a bad addition to the Tigers bullpen. While he has served as more of a setup man to Kenley Jansen, Brusdar Graterol, and Blake Treinen in the Dodgers bullpen, he could add a lot to the Tigers bullpen.

Given that he throws gas, it’s never going to be a bad thing to bring in someone like that, especially with Gregory Soto already present in the team’s backend of the bullpen throwing gas from the left side.

Kelly does have some control issues at times though, in 2021, he only allowed 15 walks, but if he can come in and throw gas to get outs, the Tigers should be pleased. After his season ended early with a bicep injury, it was noted that he would have a clean bill of health heading into next year.

The Detroit Tigers should take a chance on Joe Kelly.

Kelly is coming off of a regular season where he appeared in 48 games while boasting a 2.86 ERA, a 0.97 WHIP, and striking out 50 batters over 44 innings pitched. He seemed to have things going well for him this year whenever the Dodgers called upon him.

If the Tigers chose to bring him in, they could up his usage a little bit and allow him to get some more innings logged. If he could hold up the same performance as he had this year, the Tigers would be able to consider this contract a win.

Adding depth in the bullpen from a veteran like Kelly seems like the smart move. He’s just one of the many options to consider. But with a clean bill of health and the ability to get outs, the Tigers should certainly be intrigued to talk with him when the work stoppage comes to an end.

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Given that the team’s closing situation is going to be a revolving door going into Spring Training with Michael Fulmer and Gregory Soto vying for the spot, it will be interesting to see what happens.