Inside the Article:
In the final breakdown of the 2023 Detroit Tigers, we will go over their pitching rotation, bullpen, and players in the minor leagues to keep an eye on. Anchored by vets, who will carry the load, the depth within the organization is phenomenal. Here's the 2023 pitching depth:
Why It Matters?
For years, the Tigers have used top picks to bulk up their pitching and we are starting to see the fruition of that. Last season the Tigers had 17 different pitchers make a start for them due to injuries. Some of the big names from this rotation will miss the start of the season and some of the names used last season will most likely start the season in the minors.
Detroit Tigers Pitching Depth
Major League Options:
Eduardo Rodriguez – LHP
2022 Stats (MLB): 91 IP, 7.12 K/9, 3.36 BB/9, 4.05 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 4.43 FIP
Rodriguez will most likely be the Opening Day starter for the Tigers for the second consecutive year. He came over from the Red Sox in the offseason last year and brought some postseason experience to a young pitching staff, appearing in the 2018 World Series and the 2021 Red Sox playoff run. Rodriguez will look to put up numbers similar to his 2019 season, and return to form where he finished sixth in the Cy Young voting that season.
Matthew Boyd – LHP
2022 Stats (MLB): 13.1 IP, 8.78 K/9, 5.40 BB/9, 1.35 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 3.19 FIP
Boyd returns to the Tigers for his second stint after pitching for the Seattle Mariners last season. Boyd appeared in only ten games for the Mariners last season after coming off a flexor tendon strain that he suffered while pitching for the Tigers in 2021. He made his first appearance against the Tigers last season a game in which is he went one inning throwing only eight pitches for a one, two, three inning. It will be nice to see Boyd back in a Detroit uniform and back in the Tigers rotation in 2023.
Michael Lorenzen – RHP
2022 Stats (MLB): 97.2 IP, 7.83 K/9, 4.05 BB/9, 4.24 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 4.31 FIP
Lorenzen joins the Tigers after pitching last season for the Los Angeles Angels. He's coming off his second career season as a starter, 2023 becoming his third. In 2015, his rookie season, he made 21 starts while pitching for the Cincinnati Reds and then made 18 starts for the Angels last season. He pitched well for the Angels last season and should be a solid piece to have in the Tiger's rotation for 2023.
Matt Manning – RHP
2022 Stats (MLB): 63 IP, 6.86 K/9, 2.71 BB/9, 3.43 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 3.78 FIP
Manning is back, healthy, and ready to roll in 2023. Manning was selected by the Tigers ninth overall in the 2016 MLB Draft and made his debut in 2021. In September of last year Manning was put on the 60-day IL with a right forearm strain. According to Scott Harris back in November, he said Manning was symptom-free and doing his normal offseason program. 2023 will be a big bounce-back season for Manning and he is a big part of the future of the Tigers starting rotation.
Spencer Turnbull – RHP
2021 Stats (MLB): 50 IP, 7.92 K/9, 2.16 BB/9, 2.88 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 2.95 FIP
Turnbull makes his return to the Tigers in 2023 after missing all of 2022 while recovering from Tommy John surgery during the 2021 season. Back on May 18th Turnbull threw a no-hitter for the Tigers beating the Seattle Mariners 5-0, he struck out nine batters and walked two all while throwing 117 pitches. Turnbull was having a solid season in 2021 up until his injury and if he can pitch as he did then in 2023 the Tigers will be in good shape.
Casey Mize – RHP
2022 Stats (MLB): 10 IP, 3.60 K/9, 1.80 BB/9, 5.40 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 4.21 FIP
Mize made two starts in 2022 before suffering an injury that forced him to have Tommy John surgery, Mize later revealed he also had back surgery last season as well. Mize has started his throwing program but will start the season on the 60-day injured list. It is not known when to expect Mize to return to the Tigers rotation, but he should be back this season and it is a good sign that he has started his throwing program.
Tarik Skubal – LHP
2022 Stats (MLB): 117.2 IP, 8.95 K/9, 2.45 BB/9, 3.52 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 2.96 FIP
Skubal last season made 21 starts and had a solid season going but suffered an injury to his flexor tendon that required surgery. Last season, before the injury, Skubal posted a seven- and eight-win loss record and struck out 117 batters, he also posted a 2.9 WAR and was one of the best pitchers in the Tigers rotation. Skubal will probably make his return to the rotation around July and hope to help the Tigers win some ball games.
Alex Lange – RHP
2022 Stats (MLB): 63.1 IP, 11.65 K/9, 4.41 BB/9, 3.41 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 3.25 FIP
Lange will enter the 2023 season as a candidate for the Tigers closer. After the trades of Joe Jimenez and Gregory Soto that all but secured the spot for Lange and others to compete during Spring Training. Lange in his career has one save and that came in 2021. Last season Lange appeared in 71 games posting a win loss record of seven and four and he would strike out 82 batters. Lange is in for a tough task doing something he has never done entering 2023 but it is his time to shine.
Jason Foley – RHP
2022 Stats (MLB): 60.1 IP, 6.41 K/9, 1.64 BB/9, 3.88 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 2.76 FIP
Foley will be one of the Tigers' setup men in 2023, also with an opportunity to close out games. Last season Foley appeared in 60 games over the course of the season and posted a one-win and zero-loss record, this season will be Foley’s third season in the big leagues as he looks to continue to build off his success.
Jose Cisnero – RHP
2022 Stats (MLB): 25 IP, 8.28 K/9, 6.84 BB/9, 1.08 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 3.67 FIP
Cisnero will be the other setup man, and potential closer candidate, for the Tigers in 2023. Cisnero is entering his seventh season in the majors after starting his career with the Houston Astros. He signed with the Tigers in 2019 and has been a solid reliever for them ever since. Last season he posted one of his best seasons, only allowing three earned runs in his 28 appearances throughout all last season.
Will Vest – RHP
2022 Stats (MLB): 63 IP, 9.00 K/9, 3.14 BB/9, 4.00 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 3.54 FIP
Vest is entering his third season of his career and his second with the Tigers after being designated for assignment in 2021 by Seattle. Vest last season made two starts in the Tigers rotation and also picked up a save, the first of his career. Vest will be an important arm in the Tigers' bullpen this season, part of the top-four with Lange, Cisnero, and Foley.
Tyler Alexander – LHP
2022 Stats (MLB): 101 IP, 5.44 K/9, 2.23 BB/9, 4.81 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 4.99 FIP
Alexander is entering his fifth season in the Major Leagues. He has been a guy for the Tigers over the year that they keep in the bullpen but if needed can make a start or even give them innings. In 2021 he threw his most innings going 106 1/3 posting a 7.36 K/9 and a 2.37 BB/9 with a 3.81 ERA and he made 41 appearances with 15 of those 41 being starts. This will be a big season for Alexander in 2023.
Matt Wisler – RHP
2022 Stats (MLB): 44 IP, 7.16 K/9, 2.86 BB/9, 2.25 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 4.25 FIP
Wisler signed with the Tigers this offseason and has played for seven teams, with the Tigers being his eighth. Wisler started his career as a starter with the Braves but has now become a reliever who will start occasionally. Wisler adds some solid experience to the Tigers' bullpen for 2023.
Chasen Shreve – LHP
2022 Stats (MLB): 26.1 IP, 9.91 K/9, 3.42 BB/9, 6.49 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 5.01 FIP
Shreve like Wisler is another experienced arm added to the Tigers' bullpen for the 2023 season. Shreve is entering his tenth season after playing with five different teams over his career. Shreve’s best season was 2015 when he pitched out of the bullpen for the Yankees making 59 appearances and posting a 3.09 ERA in 58 1/3 innings pitched; he also posted a 9.9 K/9, a 5.1 BB/9 and had a 1.41 WHIP with a 4.92 FIP.
Mason Englert – RHP
2022 Stats (A+): 103.1 IP, 10.10 K/9, 2.26 BB/9, 3.57 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 4.20 FIP
Englert comes to the Tigers from the Texas Rangers when Detroit selected him in the Rule 5 draft. Englert was drafted in the fourth round of the 2018 MLB Amateur Draft. Englert made it to AA last season for the Rangers, but he spent most of the season in High A. Englert is expected to make the Tigers bullpen out of camp for 2023.
Down In The Minors:
Joey Wentz – LHP
2022 Stats (MLB): 32.2 IP, 7.44 K/9, 3.58 BB/9, 3.03 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 3.54 FIP
Wentz spent last season in High A, AAA, and the majors. He was called up to the majors due to the injuries in the Tigers' pitching rotation, making seven starts. He posted a 0.5 WAR with the Tigers in 2022. Wentz will most likely start the season in AAA pitching for Toledo.
Beau Brieske – RHP
2022 Stats (MLB): 81.2 IP, 5.95 K/9, 2.76 BB/9, 4.19 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 4.97 FIP
Brieske was another one of the starters who appeared with the Tigers after starting the season with Toledo. In the AAA Brieske made four starts going 17 innings posting a 9.87 K/9, a 2.60 BB/9, with a 4.15 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP and a 4.60 FIP. Brieske will most likely start the season in AAA with Toledo.
Reese Olson – RHP
2022 Stats (AA): 119.2 IP, 12.64 K/9, 2.86 BB/9, 4.14 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 3.31 FIP
Olson in 2022 spent his whole season in AA pitching for Erie. Olson has played for the Brewers minor league system as well before joining the Tigers organization during the 2021 season. Olson is the number ten ranked prospect in the Tigers system and after a solid season last year he will find himself playing for Toledo in AAA.
Alex Faedo – RHP
2022 Stats (MLB): 53.2 IP, 7.38 K/9, 4.19 BB/9, 5.53 ERA, 1.64 WHIP, 4.62 FIP
Faedo is the third of the four pitchers that got called up to the Majors due to an injury in the pitching staff. Faedo started 2022 in A ball then was called to AAA before making the Majors. He made only one start each in A ball and in AAA. Faedo will be a part of the Toledo pitching staff for 2023.
Garrett Hill – RHP
2022 Stats (MLB): 60.1 IP, 5.97 K/9, 4.33 BB/9, 4.03 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 4.49 FIP
Hill is the fourth pitcher that made a start from the Minors for the Tigers last year. Hill started in AA and worked his way to AAA before getting the call to the Big Leagues. With AAA Toledo, Hill made eight starts going 37 2/3 innings posting a 10.99 K/9, with a 3.58 BB/9, a 4.06 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP and a 3.88 FIP. Hill will start the season with Toledo.
Zach Logue – LHP
2022 Stats (MLB): 57 IP, 6.63 K/9, 3.16 BB/9, 6.79 ERA, 1.54 WHIP, 5.76 FIP
Logue was drafted by the Blue Jays in 2017 where he spent most of his career before 2022 when he went to Oakland. He started last season in AAA for the A’s and even made it to the Majors last year and had ten starts. In AAA Logue made 17 starts and pitched 78 2/3 innings posting a 6.75 K/9, 4.35 BB/9, an 8.12 ERA and he posted a 2.00 WHIP, and an 8.20 FIP. Logue is expected to start the season with Toledo.
Wilmer Flores – RHP
2022 Stats (AA): 83.2 IP, 10.22 K/9, 2.26 BB/9, 3.01 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 3.50 FIP
Flores is the third-rated prospect in the Tigers system entering the 2023 season. Flores dominated high A ball last season in only five starts throwing 19 2/3 innings posting a 1.83 ERA as well as a 16.02 K/9, a 0.92 BB/9, a 0.81 WHIP, and a 1.86 FIP. Flores will probably start the season back in Erie but should not be there long as he may find his way up Toledo pretty quickly.
Austin Bergner – RHP
2022 Stats (AA): 90.2 IP, 9.23 K/9, 3.08 BB/9, 2.38 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 4.14 FIP
Bergner pitched in 2022 between AA and AAA. He made seven starts in AAA, going 28 2/3 innings and posting an 8.79 K/9, a 5.02 BB/9, 6.91 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, and a 5.50 FIP. Bergner will most likely start the season in 2023 with Erie in AA.
Ty Madden – RHP
2022 Stats (A+): 87 IP, 8.69 K/9, 2.69 BB/9, 3.10 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 3.86 FIP
Madden is the fourth-rated prospect in the Tigers system. Last season was Madden’s first season in the Tigers organization after being drafted in 2021 out of the University of Texas. He posted some solid numbers once he got to AA posting a 12.36 K/9, a 3.03 BB/9, a 2.78 ERA, and a 1.12 WHIP as well as a 3.86 FIP. Madden having success in AA will most likely mean he will start the season there with Erie.
Dylan Smith – RHP
2022 Stats (A+): 83.1 IP, 9.29 K/9, 2.27 BB/9, 4.00 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 3.29 FIP
Smith was drafted by the Tigers in the 2021 MLB Amateur Draft with the 74th overall pick. He spent time at both levels of A ball last season for the Tigers, and only two starts at A before he was playing with High A for the 2022 season. In 2023 he is expected to play with Erie in AA.
Jackson Jobe – RHP
2022 Stats (A): 61.2 IP, 10.36 K/9, 3.65 BB/9, 4.52 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 5.21 FIP
Jobe, the Tigers' top-rated prospect, was drafted by them third overall in the 2021 MLB Amateur Draft. Jobe like Smith saw time in both levels of A ball, seeing success at High A in three starts, going 15 2/3 innings posting a 5.74 K/9, 2.87 BB/9, a 1.15 ERA with a 0.96 WHIP and a 5.02 FIP. He will most likely start the season with the West Michigan WhiteCaps in High A but if he continues to post numbers like he did last year he will make AA Erie in no time.
Rony Garcia – RHP
2022 Stats (MLB): 51 IP, 8.47 K/9, 2.29 BB/9, 4.41 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 4.52 FIP
Garcia will enter the 2023 season in the Tigers bullpen or in the bullpen in Toledo. Last season he split time between the majors and AAA even making a few starts. Garcia only made two appearances in AAA, both coming out of the bullpen. Garcia, by my guess, will start the season with Toledo and continue to spend time between both Toledo and Detroit throughout the season.
Angel De Jesus – RHP
2022 Stats (AAA): 47.2 IP, 8.31 K/9, 3.78 BB/9, 4.15 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 5.48 FIP
De Jesus will be at Tigers Spring Training on a non-roster invitation. Last season he saw time in Toledo and in the Tigers bullpen with the bulk of his work coming in Toledo. In Detroit, he saw 12 2/3 innings of work coming over the course of eight games. His numbers in the Big Leagues were a 4.97 K/9, a 2.84 BB/9, a 2.13 ERA, a 1.03 WHIP, and a 5.48 FIP. De Jesus will start the season in Toledo unless he has a stellar spring in Lakeland.
Brendan White – RHP
2022 Stats (AA): 67.1 IP, 9.76 K/9, 2.27 BB/9, 2.67 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 2.94 FIP
White was selected by the Tigers in the 2019 draft with the 772nd overall pick. He has worked his way up through the system to AA in just a few seasons, he spent all last season with AA Erie and is expected to make his debut in AAA this year when he plays for Toledo to start the 2023 season.
Edwin Uceta – RHP
2022 Stats (AAA): 50 IP, 12.60 K/9, 5.40 BB/9, 4.86 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 5.50 FIP
Uceta comes over to the Tigers after he was claimed off waivers from the Arizona Diamondbacks. He spent some time in the Majors in his career, making appearances in 2021 with the Dodgers and 2022 with the Diamondbacks. His career numbers in the Majors have not been great, posting a combined 6.27 ERA with a 9.2 K/9, a 3.7 BB/9, a 1.93 WHIP, and a 4.46 FIP. Hopefully, a change to the Detroit system will be exactly what he needs to right his career. Uceta is expected to start the season in AAA Toledo.
Zack Hess – RHP
2021 Stats (A+): Stats: 49.2 IP, 11.96 K/9, 6.16 BB/9, 3.62 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, 4.98 FIP
Hess was selected with the 202nd overall pick in the 2019 MLB draft. In 2019, his first season, he worked his way quickly up the system going from Rookie ball to A ball then to High A. When he last appeared in 2021 he appeared in Erie for a brief stint appearing in only two games going three innings and posting some solid numbers allowing only two hits and a walk while striking out three. Hess is expected to start the season in Erie for the 2023 season.
Tyler Holton – LHP
2022 Stats (AAA): 44.2 IP, 8.66 K/9, 3.43 BB/9, 4.43 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 4.53 FIP
Holton will join the Tigers in 2023 coming over from the Arizona Diamondbacks. Holton worked his way quickly up the Diamondbacks system getting to the Majors last season for his debut making a few appearances before he received the bulk of his Major League work in August before being sent back down. Holton will start 2023 with Toledo.
Miguel Diaz – RHP
2022 Stats (AAA): 65 IP, 9.60 K/9, 4.20 BB/9, 4.29 ERA, 1.29 WHIP
Diaz last season spent time between AAA and the Tigers. He would appear in only three games with the Tigers posting a 2.45 ERA pitching 3 2/3 innings allowing only one earned run while striking out four. He is expected to start the season with AAA Toledo but is currently at camp on a non-roster invitation with a chance to make the Tigers out of camp.
Jack Anderson – RHP
2022 Stats (A): 38.2 IP,11.64 K/9, 1.86 BB/9, 3.72 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 2.56 FIP
Anderson was selected by the Tigers with the 465th overall pick in the 2021 MLB Draft. Last season he spent time between A ball and High A with the numbers he posted in A ball making sense why he got called up to high A. When he got to High A West Michigan he posted a stat line of 21 innings, 9.43 K/9, a 2.57 BB/9, a 3.00 ERA with a 1.43 WHIP, and a 3.01 FIP. Anderson will start the season with AA Erie in 2023.
Matt Walker – LHP
2022 Stats (A+): 30.2 IP, 9.68 K/9, 3.82 BB/9, 4.40 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 3.97 FIP
Walker is another player that was selected by the Tigers in the 2021 MLB Draft with the 382nd overall pick. He's seen time with all levels of A ball in his career, even making some starts in his time at both levels. Walker pitched in the Arizona Fall League last season making four appearances and two of them being starts, he struggled in his time there posting an 8.22 ERA in 7 2/3 innings with 7.0 K/9, a 3.5 BB/9, and a 1.70 WHIP. Walker will start the 2023 season in AA Erie.
The Big Picture for the Tigers' Pitching Staff
The Detroit Tigers pitching is one of the more loaded positions this team has with a lot of talent at all levels. It will be an interesting situation to see play out as the season goes along with Tarik Skubal and Casey Mize coming back throughout the season. Who gets taken out of the rotation and what happens after that is anyone's guess. The minor league starters have players with MLB service and have some talent in Erie that could help the Tigers in a few years. The Tigers pitching will be a lot of fun to watch in 2023.