When the Detroit Tigers signed Andrew Chafin when the league returned from work stoppage, it was a sign the bullpen would finally get some aid who was not another inning-eating arm. Detroit Jock City contributor Eli Paszek advocated for the team to make the move; even before the work stoppage, Al Avila pulled the trigger, and they got their guy.
Besides the Detroit Tigers adding another left-handed reliever to the back of their bullpen, there’s more to be seen with Chafin. I mean, look at that mustache… it’s reminiscent of old-school relievers like Goose Gossage. (I’m sorry to anyone reading this who is offended by me using the term old-school)
In all honesty, though, the look is something else, that’s for sure. But his old-school look lines up with his philosophies on the mound as well. He’s not into analytics, not into Trackman, not into Rapsodo, not into biomechanics, or any of that. This should sum things up pretty nicely.
I mean, that’s a personality in itself that’s coming to the Tigers bullpen. Though a groin injury may keep him off the mound to begin the season, Chafin will bring more than an electric look to the Tigers organization.
Andrew Chafin brings more to the Detroit Tigers than his look.
In 2021, Chafin was a part of the Oakland Athletics bullpen after being acquired from the Chicago Cubs; he logged 68.2 innings pitched between the two clubs, pitching to a 1.83 ERA, a 0.93 WHIP while striking out 64 punchouts.
But the stats can be good for anyone, and for Chafin, it’s either you did good, or you did bad. Well, screw that; let’s take a deeper look into Chafin and his performance on the mound. He attacks hitters from the left side, featuring a four-seam, a sinker, and a slider.
It’s a predominantly sinker/slider attack that tunnels well and can fool hitters. He may not be blowing them away with 95+ mph or getting swings and misses on a big breaking ball, but he tunnels pitches and forces bad swings, limiting hard contact.
Chafin is in the 74th percentile for opposing exit velocity and 76th percentile for barrels, showing how he can beat hitters and force weak contact. All while being in just the 23rd percentile for fastball spin rate and 29th percentile for fastball velocity.
Last season, according to Baseball Savant, he finished in the top two percent of all big leaguers in WOBA (weighted on-base average), which measures a hitter’s (or opposing hitter’s) ability to create offense per plate appearance.
To put it into English for those confused, he utilizes his pitch mix to force roll-overs, pop-outs, and works efficiently. Like Chafin says, he other does good (limits hard contact) or does bad (does not), and the deeper look shows that he will be good more often than bad in his terms.
The Tigers got a great arm with Chafin and an all-time appearance as well.