Joe Jimenez continues to be a steady force in the Detroit Tigers bullpen.
The Detroit Tigers bullpen has been one of the consistent things that fans have been able to rely on this season. From Alex Lange to Gregory Soto, the bullpen has some serious depth to it.
One name that seems to be lost in the shuffle of it all has been right-hander Joe Jimenez. His numbers in 2022 are worth some serious All-Star consideration. He has the best K per 9 on the team at 12.36 with an impressive 38 strikeouts in just 27 innings of work.
What has contributed to that? His chase rate has jumped from being in the 13th percentile of the league in 2021 (24.4) to now a healthy 32.1%, good for the 79th percentile in the league, according to Baseball Savant.
Inside the numbers on Jimenez
Are these numbers just relevant to 2022? Some of them are yes, like his velocity and spin rate on his four-seam fastball or but the one stat number that has helped Jimenez is his walk rate. It has been his Achilles heel. Last season, it was at 16.7% but this season; it has dropped to 6.3%.
As far as what changes he has made, it was something that Detroit Tigers broadcaster Dan Dickerson pointed out recently. The extra ball tap to the mitt as he comes to pitch is gone.
His ability to get weak contact is above league average at 4.5% (league average is 2.9%) and another issue he has seemed to eliminate is giving up solid contact. That has seen a dip from 9.0% in 2021 to just 3.0% so far this season.
If there is one thing that perhaps has helped Jimenez gain his confidence back is how the Tigers have used him since A.J. Hinch took the helm last season. He has been good as a 7th inning arm. How good in 2022?
8.1IP 0.00 ERA 5H 2BB 15SO .167 BA against.
There was a recent article by MLB.com on 3 under the radar trade candidates and Jimenez was mentioned. Whether Detroit trades him for some offense, it reminds to be seen. But the numbers are certainly a benefit for the Tigers’ bullpen.