The Detroit Tigers called up Kody Clemens to join the team. He made his debut during the 2022 season and has found his way into the lineup for the Tigers. Though, the results have not been pretty. Recently, he continues to be sent out there, getting at-bats, continuing to struggle.
Drafted as a second baseman by the Detroit Tigers, they have opted to see what he can do when shifted around positionally. He's turned into a bit of a Swiss Army knife when in reality, he needs to be sent back to the minors. Clemens continues to drag in the batters' box, proving not to be the difference-maker the Tigers may have hoped he would be.
After breaking in as a second baseman, he has taken more of a corner-infield role with the team. He's been playing third base and first base for the team. At first base, he has looked a little out of place, struggling to get a feel for the position and sometimes costing the team's pitchers outs.
The third base feel is better than expected. He's made some decent plays at the hot corner, keeping the ball in front of him. It's not the worst look. The issues come with his performance in the batters' box. Being a lackluster hitter is something the Tigers have to be aware of.
Detroit Tigers need to send down Kody Clemens.
Clemens needs a refresh. What good does it do keeping Clemens in the big leaguers? Why not give another hitter in the minors a cup of tea in the big leagues? Seeing Clemens continue to struggle is not doing much. At one point or another, he needs a reset. If the Tigers are willing to send down Torkelson for a reset, there's no reason Clemens cannot be sent down.
In 36 games in 2022, Kody Clemens has slashed .127/.184/.266 with 19 punchouts over 79 total at-bats. If that is not bad enough to warrant a demotion, Clemens has hit a measly .083/.083/.167 with just one hit over 12 at-bats in the month of August. That streak of one hit only goes back even further. With his last ten appearances, totaling 20 at-bats leading to just one hit.
It's time to send him down. If they do not send him down, they need to find a position and stick him there. There is no reason for A.J. Hinch to tell a guy that's hitting .127 to go pick up a first baseman's glove and start getting familiar with the position. Whether he's played there ten games or not, there appears to be a severe lack of feel for the position.
Plus, there is no reason to teach Clemens to play first, assuming that Spencer Torkelson will be the team's future there. Some may argue that it ups his trade value to be a Swiss Army knife player who can play the corner infield positions.
What team will reach out to the Tigers for Clemens as a middle infielder slashing .127/.184/.266 in the big leagues? If they really wanted a corner infielder with versatility, they could inquire about Jeimer Candelario. The point is, there's no reason to keep working on Clemens' versatility when the primary focus should be to get him on base and swinging the bat better.
Even as an off-the-bench bat, it's hard to see this much struggle and not want to see a change of pace. Hit reset on Clemens and give someone else a look. Heck, give Zack Short a call-up once again, and see if he can slash better than Kody Clemens for the time being.