Detroit Tigers: Finding a happy medium with Tyler Alexander will be crucial

(Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)
(Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Detroit Tigers recently sent out left-handed pitcher Tyler Alexander for his first start of the 2022 season while he maintains a role in the team’s starting rotation. Overall, it was a great start and is an easy example of why the team needs to find a happy medium with the southpaw.

Alexander’s expected to hold a spot in the Detroit Tigers rotation and possibly see some competition from late signing Michael Pineda and eventually Joey Wentz, who may get a start or two later this year. He’s been a bright spot in the Tigers’ pitching staff and is looking to continue his success.

The Tigers have used him in a variable role during his time in the big leagues. He’s worked as a starter when called upon and been a viable long-relief option for A.J. Hinch. But, as he tries to cement himself as the team’s number five starter, or at least consistent number five starter option, there’s work to be done.

It will take work for the Tigers to feel out the happy medium for Alexander, but I think there is one. He’s likely going to be a batter-by-batter guy later in starts, and ultimately it’s going to lead to him getting burned sometimes and coming in clutch others.

Detroit Tigers starter Tyler Alexander needs a happy medium in a rotation role.

In his first start of 2022, Alexander cruised through five innings but got into trouble in the sixth inning. The Red Sox were able to get to Alexander during their third time through the lineup, chasing him from the game.

The bullpen left a sour mark on Alexander’s otherwise exceptional line after allowing runs to score and ultimately spoiling the game. Alexander finished with 5.1 innings pitched, allowing five hits, three runs, walking zero, and adding four punchouts to his line.

All-in-all, it’s a start the Tigers will take, especially with the blemishes at the end falling more on the bullpen than Alexander himself. It really seems like moving forward, they can find this happy medium to ensure Alexander can make the most of his starts.

My armchair pitching coach opinion is to make Alexander a two-time through-the-order guy. Go into the start, expect Alexander to face the team’s lineup twice, and yank him. Whether it’s a flawless line or not, the odds are that Alexander’s just going to falter.

It seems that allowing Alexander to continue a third time through the order is where things will get dicey. So, if Alexander adds a few hits/walks and only gets through four innings on a two-time through the order cap, so be it.

Allowing him to trudge through the lineup for the third time will create future problems. There’s a reason I’m sitting here typing this and not standing in a major league dugout managing a pitching staff.

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When it comes to Alexander’s 2022 performance, I really think a happy medium can be found. I think he brings plenty of value to the team’s rotation, and utilizing him in the best way possible only helps the Tigers use their pitching staff in the best way possible.