The latest bullpen disaster on Wednesday night has left the Detroit Tigers searching for answers. With Joakim Soria setting franchise records from the closer spot, Detroit could be looking for a replacement for Joba Chamberlain in the set up spot. One possible solution could be rookie Angel Nesbitt.
Nesbitt was signed by the Tigers as a 19 year old and has been dominating at the minor league level for several seasons. So far this year he has impressive stats with 10 strikeouts and only 1 walk in 10 1/3 innings pitched. His fastball has been consistent and his control has been excellent as he has worked to get ahead in the count early against hitters.
Most of his work has been in middle relief, but, with the ghost of playoffs past coming back to haunt Chamberlain as of late it might be a good idea to consider Nesbitt for the set up spot. In a recent article for the Detroit Free Press, manager Brad Ausmus seems to think that Nesbitt is almost ready for more late inning work:
“It’s definitely on the horizon,” manager Brad Ausmus said. “It’s something we’ve kind of had on our minds since spring training.”
The signing of big name bullpen free agents hasn’t been the answer for Detroit. Tiger fans have vocally demonstrated loud and clear that they are looking for new blood in the relief pitching department. Perhaps Nesbitt could be that guy for Detroit. The fans have embraced Soria in his record setting efforts thus far. Nesbitt’s performance has been very impressive as well considering that this is his first year playing at the major league level. A young, home grown talent who is given the chance to succeed early on in the season could build momentum for the end of the season and a playoff run.
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