The Tigers have signed reliever Derek Law to a minor league contract, as noted by Chris Hilburn-Trenkle of Baseball America. Law has been assigned to Triple-A Toledo and already made his first appearance with the Mud Hens over the weekend.
Law has appeared in parts of five big league seasons. The 31-year-old broke into the majors with the Giants in 2016, tossing 55 innings of 2.13 ERA ball as a rookie. Law’s strikeout rate that year was right around the league average, but he allowed only three home runs and walked just nine hitters (4.2% of batters faced) en route to that success. In the following seasons, though, the righty hasn’t managed to replicate that excellent strike-throwing.
Over 37 1/3 frames in 2017, Law pitched to a 5.06 ERA while walking a league average 8.3% of opponents. His walk rate has jumped north of 11% in each of his past three seasons. He made seven appearances with the Giants in 2018, then tossed 60 2/3 innings of 4.90 ERA ball with the Blue Jays the following year. Law spent 2020 at the Rangers’ alternate training site but didn’t make it back to the majors, though he returned to pitch in nine games as a Twin last season.
Overall, Law owns a 4.22 ERA in 181 1/3 MLB innings. He has a 22.3% strikeout rate and 11% swinging strike rate that are in the realm of league average, while his 9.9% walk percentage is a bit elevated. He’s coming off a nice showing with the Twins’ top affiliate in St. Paul — a 2.54 ERA in 28 1/3 innings over 18 appearances — and will add some bullpen depth to the upper levels of the Detroit system.