Detroit Tigers Reportedly Sign A.J. Achter to Minors Deal

Detroit Tigers fans witnessed a relatively quiet Winter Meetings. However, the team has now reportedly brought in a new pitcher in ex-Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim hurler A.J. Achter.

Detroit Tigers general manager Al Avila has reportedly made another addition in order to improve the team’s pitching depth.

According to the latest tweet from SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo, AJ Achter has joined the Tigers organization. The reporter tweeted on Friday morning, “Tigers sign reliever AJ Achter to minor-league deal with spring invite, source tells SBN. Achter had 3.11 ERA in 37.2 IP with Angels in ’16.”

A Michigan State University product, Achter enjoyed his best Major League season in 2016.

The former 46th-round pick of the Minnesota Twins also appeared in 27 games, finishing 17 of them. His FIP sat at 5.85, while he only walked 2.9 batters per nine frames.

While Achter low walk counts were encouraging, he didn’t strike many batters out for Anaheim last season. The 28-year-old compiled just 14 strikeouts, good for 3.3 punch outs per nine innings.

He fared better in the minors, registering 6.4 strikeouts per nine innings while notching a 3.50 ERA in 46.1 innings pitched for Triple-A Salt Lake.

Despite the low strikeout numbers in the Majors, Achter did turn in a swinging strike percentage of 9.9. That number ranked ahead of current Detroit Tigers relievers Blaine Hardy, Kyle Ryan and Alex Wilson.

Since entering the Major Leagues in 2014 with the Twins, the 6’5” right-hander owns a 3.92 ERA in 62 innings pitched. He logged a 1.452 WHIP over the same span.

Pitching Depth

Along with Rule 5 draft selection Daniel Stumpf, Achter represents yet another depth option in the bullpen for Detroit.

The Tigers had a surprising number of relief options last year in Justin Wilson, Bruce Rondon, Shane Greene, Alex Wilson, Kyle Ryan and Blaine Hardy all providing a bridge to Francisco Rodriguez.

While Joe Jimenez is likely to join that group at some point in 2017, depth is still needed.

For as much as Rondon, Greene and Ryan established themselves as Major League relievers, Detroit’s depth options didn’t exactly stick.

Dustin Molleken (2.04 WHIP), Logan Kensing (5.25 SIERA) and Bobby Parnell (6.15 SIERA) all struggled in limited playing time.

What’s more, fellow reliever Joe Mantiply was lost on waivers to the Yankees.

In other words, the Detroit Tigers need more depth and more options where the bullpen is concerned.

With Stumpf, and now Achter joining the organization, Al Avila is gradually building that necessary depth.

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