With the trade deadline ending in less than 24 hours, the Detroit Tigers have already made their big move that they hope will potentially help their bullpen. The question is though, is it enough to win the World Series?
Late last week, the Tigers traded for Texas Rangers closer Joakim Soria in order to bring help to a bullpen that is in desperate need of stability. In return, the Tigers gave up rookie right-handed pitcher Corey Knebel and prospect Jake Thompson.
General manager Dave Dombrowski was on record saying they were going to go after an experienced reliever and he delivered but once again, is it enough?
The Tigers bullpen right now rests on the shoulders of closer Joe Nathan and set up pitcher Joba Chamberlain seeing as they are going to have to step up their pitching once postseason play comes around. Putting Soria in that mix could make for a great combination for seventh, eighth, and ninth inning setup.
Even though Soria hasn’t had the most welcoming start, pitching two thirds of an inning and allowing four earned runs which included two home runs, he will find a way to get settled down in Detroit.
Now as for Chamberlain, and I can’t believe I am saying this, he has been their best relief pitcher. Chamberlain has pitched just over 43 innings and has an ERA of 2.70. He has held his own for the most part as being the setup man for the Tigers.
Now obviously the set up man usually leads into the closer and that’s where Nathan comes into the picture.
Nathan has been far less than what the Tigers have expected this year as he currently sits with an ERA of 5.59, which is his career high. The bright spot for the Tigers is that Nathan has looked good in his last four appearances. Now I know I have said this before in so many previous articles, but if Nathan can somehow find his groove and stay in it, the Tigers could be in business. If not, then maybe they would look into having Soria become the closer or even Chamberlain for that matter.
Some other pitchers in the bullpen who are going to be key in their push towards the title are relief pitchers like Al Alburquerque, Blaine Hardy, Ian Krol, and Phil Coke. Now I have been on record saying how the Tigers should part ways with Coke but they haven’t and I can’t seem to understand why but maybe sometime soon send him down, one can only hope right?
Now some of you may be reading and thinking “Hardy?” I like what I see from Hardy. He has a good fastball and a nasty breaking ball he uses very well as he currently has 17 strikeouts in just over 17 innings pitched with an ERA of 2.08. He is young, but has shown a lot of promise and the Tigers may see that and work him a little more as the season goes on.
Soria, Chamberlain, and Nathan are going to be counted on more than ever down the stretch of the season and in the playoffs. With them and other pitchers in the bullpen, it should be enough for the Tigers to make a World Series title run.