Is Gregory Soto The Closer?

Is Gregory Soto The Closer?

Yes. Soto was officially named the Tigers’ closer by Hinch in early October.

Soto said Wednesday, with Tigers bilingual media coordinator Carlos Guillen interpreting, “It feels quite nice.” “But I needed to forget about it.

I don’t want that distraction to distract me. I’ve got to keep as concentrated as possible, so I’ve got to think about other things.”

Gregory Soto named to the 2021 All-Star Game
Gregory Soto

Soto pitched as the Tigers’ unofficial closer in 2021, posting a 3.39 ERA in 62 appearances out of the bullpen in high-leverage situations, with 40 walks and 76 strikeouts over 632 3 innings.

He struck out 27.5 percent of the time and walked 14.5 percent of the time.

Soto pitched in the All-Star Game in July at Coors Field in Denver, recording 18 saves in 19 chances.

Soto anchors a solid bullpen that includes right-hander Michael Fulmer (2.97 ERA in 2021), left-hander Andrew Chafin (1.83 ERA), right-hander Jose Cisnero (3.65 ERA), right-hander Kyle Funkhouser (3.42 ERA), and right-hander Alex Lange (3.42 ERA) (4.04 ERA).

Hinch stated, “I think he’s an outstanding pitcher.” “I believe it is inconvenient for hitters.” I believe he has evolved and grown into a very successful reliever who now understands how to execute a sound game plan.

I’ve never seen a batter feel at ease in front of him.

Soto’s pitching arsenal now includes a changeup, giving him a four-pitch closer. Last season, the burner threw a sinker (55.1%), slider (37.3%), and four-seam fastball (7.3%), with his fastball averaging 98 mph.

Opponents hit.265 against his sinker with an 18.6% swing-and-miss rate,.183 against his slider with a 43% whiff rate, and.095 against his four-seamer with a 51.3 percent whiff rate.

Soto added, “I took advantage of the opportunity to be among senior guys like (Wily) Peralta.” “He provided me a lot of useful advice.

He taught me a great deal. I’m focusing on learning a new pitch that he taught me and showed me how to accomplish.”

Soto employed a changeup as a starter for the Tigers in the 2019 season before becoming a reliever. This changeup, on the other hand, has a different grip than Peralta’s renowned split-finger changeup.

Soto is unsure how frequently he will use his changeup. He explained, “I need to acquire some faith in it to know when I may utilize it in the game.” Soto spent the offseason in Florida and the Dominican Republic working on his latest project.

If everything goes according to plan, the new pitch will propel him to the next level as the Tigers’ closer.

“It will make batters feel less at ease than they used to,” Soto predicted. “I’m going to make them uncomfortable.”