When the Detroit Tigers traded Michael Fulmer to the Minnesota Twins, they needed some of their other bullpen arms to step up and fill in the holes. Will Vest is one of the players who has done exactly that. He's been able to be a beneficial piece in the wake of Fulmer's absence.
Vest has been exactly what the Detroit Tigers need, dependable. He's been a reliever who A.J. Hinch can call upon at times for a clean outing. He's performed exceptionally well and been a reliable right-hander after being someone who had low stock coming into the season.
While he was a former Rule-5 draftee of the Seattle Mariners, he was returned to the Tigers organization. He has since worked his way into the bullpen and proved to be someone the team has called upon even more recently. He's performed well, and even in his last outing against the Chicago White Sox, he was running up the fastball even more.
Dan Dickerson mentioned on the radio broadcast that he thought the gun might have been hot, with higher numbers coming up for several Tigers arms. Either way, he was lighting up the gun at 96-97 mph, which certainly plays for a reliever who has averaged 95 mph, which is already up from his 2021 average of 93.5 mph as the average velocity.
Detroit Tigers reliever Will Vest is proving to be very beneficial to the bullpen.
In 2022, Vest has appeared in 41 games for the Tigers, totaling 46.0 innings pitched. He has managed a 3.91 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP while punching out 46 opposing hitters. He has been a model of efficiency for the Tigers and is someone who the organization has seen rise to the occasion.
But it's deeper than just his generic stats. Taking a further look at his Baseball Savant metrics, it's been several things that have helped him become a more efficient pitcher. One of the things is his slider; he has thrown the slider with some more velocity in 2022, which has, in turn, killed some of the break on the pitch, making it more firm, with more of a tight-sweep motion to it.
He throws a four-seam, slider, and changeup mix that has been able to miss barrels overall and induce weak contact. He has increased his GB% up to 51.2% compared to a 41.7% in 2021. He's been more of a fastball and slider guy in 2022, turning to the changeup less, but the pitch distribution is still similar.
The Tigers are seeing Vest be able to be efficient, rack up outs, and throw st ikes. He has stepped up big time, in a spot where the team nee s it. The bullpen has been worrisome for years; in 2022, they have proven to be a consistent group. Vest's consistency has helped speak to that as the season has gone on.