In 2018, the Detroit Tigers saw Joe Jiménez earn the team's all-star nod, looking like he might develop into the team's closer of the future. In 2022, Jiménez has amassed a total of nine saves in any season to this point. Now, Jiménez looks much different this season, a season where the pitching staff is the only bright spot.
The Detroit Tigers may not have much to talk about in a positive light, but the team's bullpen has performed well above where many would have expected it to. Jiménez is one of those arms that has performed above expectations and had a bit of a resurgence.
In each of the last two seasons, Jiménez has not been the same as he was earlier in his career, but in 2022 he has started to get back on track. It's just another instance of Chris Fetter excelling at his job and another reason the Tigers cannot afford to lose out on their pitching coach.
The Tigers have seen Jiménez offer value to the bullpen this season when in recent years, he has been a liability when called upon. There's been much more assurance that Jiménez will get the job done in 2022 than in years past.
Detroit Tigers reliever Joe Jiménez is bouncing back in 2022.
The Tigers have called upon Jiménez in 25 games, accruing 23.1 innings pitched. His numbers are much better than in 2021, when he logged 45.1 innings pitched, pitching to a 5.96 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP. He's managed a 4.24 ERA, a 1.16 WHIP, and collected 30 punchouts along the way.
The 2022 season has been much different beyond the basic stats. While there are plenty of similarities between the past few seasons, Jiménez has consistently improved his pitch mix, getting better tilt on the slider and working a comfortable three-pitch mix. He's been working on things with Fetter, which shows when you dive deeper into his statistics.
Jiménez has been efficient, limiting hard contact and getting more whiffs than he has. His overall whiff rate has improved from 2021 to 2022, seeing him find success for the Tigers bullpen and induce swings and misses. The Tigers are seeing him improve, and he has turned things around to this point in 2022.
Jiménez's Baseball Savant profile speaks to his success and allows for plenty of visuals to look at it. The Tigers need to keep trusting in Jiménez until he shows signs of struggle. However, it seems that Jiménez is going to keep trending in the right direction, which is a massive step in the right direction for the Tigers and their bullpen.
As mentioned earlier, the Detroit Tigers bullpen is one of the few functioning pieces on this ballclub. There's hope for Jiménez, and the Tigers should expect him to continue getting the job done when Hinch hands him the baseball. With Fetter around, I like his odds to continue having success.