The Detroit Tigers have not had the greatest pitching staff, or at least the pitching staff they expected, coming into the 2022 season. That stands on both ends of the spectrum. It has not been the performance the team was hoping for in the starting rotation.
While injuries have been a significant area of concern for the Detroit Tigers early, some struggles have also deterred performance. On the other hand, the team’s bullpen has performed at a much better rate than was expected.
They have gotten plenty from the bullpen, including some of the unlikely sources. Not just players like Michael Fulmer and Gregory Soto. But, with that comes expected struggles, and the team has opted to try and continue getting the most out of their bullpen.
In doing so, they have claimed left-handed pitcher Sam Howard off of waivers from the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. Howard will provide depth and may be someone to watch as he likely gets some chances with the Tigers.
Detroit Tigers add left-hander Sam Howard to bring in a new face.
The Tigers bullpen does not need a significant change, but the Tigers front office must see something in Howard that will bring a benefit to the tribe of arms they’ve assembled already. Howard has been with the Pirates since the COVID-19 pandemic shortened 2020 season.
Howard’s 2021 season saw him appear in 54 games, where he accumulated 45.0 innings pitched with a 5.60 ERA, a 1.47 WHIP, and 60 punchouts to his credit. Certainly not the most exciting stat line.
Especially when you look at his 2022 season performance which has led to just two innings of work over three games appeared in. He’s allowed two runs, including a home run in that time. The Pirates opted to designate him for assignment and see if he would make it through waivers.
The Tigers scooped him up and will see if he can bring some more benefit to the team’s bullpen. Howard’s strikeout numbers are a bit intriguing. With some time under Chris Fetter, it will be interesting to see if they can get him on the right side of things.
High walk numbers lead me to believe control can be an issue with Howard. But, with strikeout numbers like that, the stuff has to be there. It may take some time, but it will certainly be nice to see how Howard fares with his new squad.
It’s not an earth-shattering move or one that will shake up the bullpen, but a “we’ll take a chance on him” type of move that could be something great.