Detroit Tigers are in dire need of left-handed pitching out of the bullpen

(Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports)
(Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) /

While the Detroit Tigers cannot make any changes to their big league roster right now due to the work stoppage, something has to give when things get back to normal. As it stands now, the Tigers will be in dire need of left-handed relievers who can get the job done.

The Detroit Tigers have a great lefty in Gregory Soto, who will try and be a dominant reliever for the team; there’s not much else beyond that. A recent article about signing left-handed reliever Andrew Chafin from Detroit Jock City contributor Eli Paszek sparked this thought.

Upon a deeper look, I found out that the Detroit Tigers, in fact, need a heavy influx of left-handed relievers across the organization, not just at the big league level. Fangraphs projected depth charts have the Tigers carrying five left-handed pitchers on the roster.

With three of them being starters, if you count Tyler Alexander with that group, it leaves just Soto and Miguel Del Pozo to find their way into games throwing from the left side. Looking beyond that, the Tigers have just seven more left-handed pitchers between starters and relievers across all levels of affiliated ball. Just two of those seven are listed as relievers.

The Detroit Tigers need an influx of left-handed pitching.

With just two relievers in the pipeline from the left side, there’s not much help on the way the Tigers can look too. These two relievers are Double-A and High-A, respectively, and far from making their pro debut if they get that far.

Now, I’m no expert, but it’s unlikely all of the starting pitching prospects this organization has will stay as starters their whole career. Some of them will translate into relievers. It’s interesting to think about how the Tigers might handle this.

With Joey Wentz coming back from injury, could re-injury risk or reliever risk overrun his career and send him down the path of a reliever? It may not seem that way, but with a serious need for lefties, Wentz may get looks as a reliever in his pro debut.

Another hurdle to look at is that the Tigers have only six left-handed pitchers on the active 40-man roster. They are…

  1. Eduardo Rodíguez
  2. Tarik Skubal
  3. Tyler Alexander
  4. Gregory Soto
  5. Miguel Del Pozo
  6. Joey Wentz

With two of those players being consistent starters, a third being a long reliever and spot starter, and Soto being a possible closer, something has to be done. Understandably, nothing is happening right now due to the work stoppage, but as soon as things open up again, the Tigers have to be active and get busy quickly.

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If the Tigers go into the 2022 season in this shape, lacking this much depth in terms of left-handed pitching, they will run into issues down the line. It’s inevitable.