Detroit Tigers Projected Pitching Staff
Justin Verlander – as Jim Price says every time he talks about JV, “best pitcher in the world.” Will make $20,100,000 this year but worth it. Hopefully they will get him extension during Spring Training.
Max Sherzer – avoided arbitration with a 1 year 6,700,000 million dollar deal. Hopefully they will be able to lock him up for a long time. I still think that the Tigers are huge winners in the Granderson deal because for a while last year he was better than JV.
Doug Fister – Dougie Fresh is a great move that the Tigers made to get him away from Seattle. Dombrowski also avoided arbitration with Fister with a 1 year 4,000,000 million dollar deal.
Anibal Sanchez – has to be the highest paid 4th starter ever with his new 5 year 80 million dollar contract. I did not think that the Tigers would resign him because of the money involved but I also didn’t think the Tigers would sign Prince Fielder until V Mart got hurt, Mr. Illitch really wants to win. Love to have him back, especially since it’s not my money.
Drew Smyly – I really like Smyly better as the 5th starter vs Porcello at this point in their careers. I like the left handed pitcher in the rotation too.
Rick Porcello – Last year he had about 2 good innings and then the flood gates opened. Shows great potential and at this point I would love him in long relief because he has not learned how to be effective consistently in a whole game. If he doesn’t get traded might I add.
Duane Below – Will be a good left handed long reliever for specific situations.
Al Albuquerque – Great slider and I love the way he pitches. Will be a great guy to have, will get a chance to pitch in some big situations.
Octavio Dotel – Great guy who can pitch in any situation; close, set up man, or any other.
Bruce Rondon – Young pitcher who has been hugely rumored to be the closer. I am not a big fan of having young players in the closer position. I see it in his future from what I’ve heard about him but the closer has to be a guy who is has incredible mental toughness.
Joaquin Benoit – Set up guy, struggled with giving up home runs last year but hopefully he will get it back this year.
Phil Coke – A lot of people may disagree with me but I loved what I saw in the playoffs last year and he has the mental toughness and the bulldog mentality that you need in a closer. Another guy that came in the Granderson deal that makes the Tigers huge winners.
I love their pitching staff, they have some young guys with talent that will have to prove themselves and they have veterans who know that they deserve to pitch in the league. I think that the Valverde loss is a big one. I was in the minority being a supporter of him, but I really enjoyed the closer who has the highest save percentage and the most saves in in the league over his tenure with the Tigers, the last 3 years.
Papa Grande did struggle in a few games last year but it seemed like everyone was on his case the previous year when he did not blow a save in 49 opportunities. Tigers fans have never liked closers, from Todd Jones who was a pretty good closer in his career to Fernando Rodney who has great stuff and showed last year that he is a great pitcher . Last year Valverde blew 5 saves all year which isn’t bad when a fan realizes that 15 relief pitchers blew 5 or more saves last year, including All Star Aroldis Chapman. I agree with the Tigers getting rid of him because there is no possible way that Valverde could have pitched effectively with most of Comerica Park booing him when he is coming in. I think it’s best for Valverde too because I would never want to play for a city that boos me every time I come in to play. I am excited to see what Leyland does with the closer position. It seems that every one wants Rondon to become it. I am weary that if he struggles in the first part of the season that Tiger fans will become anxious and boo him. He could become one of those players who never recover from underperforming in their rookie season and can’t recover in a less than supportive atmosphere. I would prefer Coke because of the way that he carries himself and I think his mental toughness is perfect for a closer.
Feel free to comment and tell me your ideas. This is my opinion and I would love to hear yours too. Make sure to follow me and read the other articles about the World Baseball Classic, the Tigers and many more to come.
~ Benjamin Brown