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Tigers befuddled by A. Wilson's recent woes

MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Tigers are trying everything they can to get right-handed reliever Alex Wilson out of his recent funk.

During Thursday's 16-4 loss to the Royals, Wilson allowed four runs on six hits in an inning of work. He threw 35 pitches, which tied his season high, including 22 strikes.

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MINNEAPOLIS -- The Tigers are trying everything they can to get right-handed reliever Alex Wilson out of his recent funk.

During Thursday's 16-4 loss to the Royals, Wilson allowed four runs on six hits in an inning of work. He threw 35 pitches, which tied his season high, including 22 strikes.

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As a result, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus admitted that it may be time to look at improvements from an analytical standpoint.

"I can't tell you right now [what's wrong]. Let's see if we can get anything from the analytics department," said Ausmus. "See if there is anything they can find."

Wilson, who has a 1-4 record and 4.46 ERA in 42 games, has made numerous attempts to get back on track, including plenty of video work. He has made adjustments to his footwork on the mound as recently as late June.

After logging a sub-2.00 ERA through most of the first two months, he recorded a 9.31 ERA in June (11 games) and 6.75 clip in July (six outings).

The club might consider pitching him in lower-leverage situations in the interim.

"We will use him where we think he can have success," Ausmus said.

The veteran reliever has leaned on his cutter to get outs, particularly against lefties, over the course of his career. According to FanGraphs, however, teams are hitting .278 against Wilson's cutter this season, up from his career mark of .263 with the pitch.

Wilson also has generated fewer swings and misses with his cutter, which he has thrown 217 times. His 14.8 percent whiff rate is down from 26.9 in 2016. Lefties have a .253/.318/.316 line in 2017 against him, up from a .233/.294/.355 line for his career.

Shane Jackson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Minneapolis and covered the Tigers on Friday.

Detroit Tigers, Alex Wilson