Who Should Pitch the 8th Innings for the Detroit Tigers?


Apr 26, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus (7) take the ball to relieve relief pitcher Angel Nesbitt (60) against the Cleveland Indians at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Tigers have had problems when it comes to their bullpen the past few seasons. This year it seemed to be the only thing that could hold the team back from either making the playoffs or going far in them. However, the Tigers got off to a great 6-0 start before losing their first game.

More from Detroit Jock City

The bullpen wasn’t seen as much of a problem at the start of the season because the team had starters going until the 7th and 8th innings, the team only needed the closer to come out and get three outs.

Yet the bullpen became an issue when Joe Nathan found out he needed season ending Tommy John surgery, Bruce Rondon seems to be coming back slowly but isn’t back yet. Then guys in the bullpen such as Al Alburquerque and Joba Chamberlain not being what most thought they would be, the question looms; who should be pitching the 8th inning for the Detroit Tigers?

With Joakim Soria falling into the closer role after Nathan got hurt the middle inning men have become a revolving door of pitchers. Which is fine, sometimes, but you need guys you can put in those spots and rely on in close games. So, who goes there?

Detroit Tigers
Detroit Tigers /

Detroit Tigers

Ausmus gets to pick between Blaine Hardy, Alex Wilson and Tom Gorzelanny and the two others mentioned Chamberlain and Alburquerque. Wilson and Hardy don’t fall into that role well, they both only have 3 years of major league experience between the two and are in the bullpen for days starters don’t go long.

Let’s say that Ausmus keeps Chamberlain and Alburquerque in that same pool as Wilson and Hardy. So that leaves you with Nesbitt and Gorzelanny who can take over the 8th for you.

If you made me pick one it would easy for me; Angel Nesbitt. He has been reliable for the Tigers this season and while he has blown up once, he shouldn’t be given up on yet. Nesbitt has a  2.16 ERA so far this season. In the 10 innings that he has pitched he has registered 10 strike outs which has led him to have a 10.oo K/BB and 0.77 WHIP.

Gorzelanny in the same amount of innings pitch has a 2.53 ERA, but a 1.31 WHIP and a 3.00 K/BB. Which means that Gorzelanny is getting guys out but not at the rate that Nesbitt is. They share some stats, they both have given up 3 earned runs and pitched the same amount of innings. Neither have given up a home run, even their strike outs are close Nesbitt has one more than Gorzelanny who has 9.

Yet, Nesbitt has walked 1 guy while Gorzelanny has walked 3 guys, Nesbitt has only given up 7 hits while Gorzelanny has given up 11. These don’t seem like monumental things, but they are when you’re looking at guys who are brought into a game to pitch 1 to 2 innings max. They can cost your team a game or help your team win.

Nesbitt gets guys out and that is what you need your 8th inning guy to do. Come in and get the quick 3 outs so you can move the game along and then you can send Soria out in your closer spot out and get the win. With Gorzelanny he gets guys out, but not at the rate that Nesbitt does.

Who do you think should be put into the 8th inning spot for the Tigers? Let us know below and don’t forget to stay connected to Detroit Jock City for all your Detroit Tigers news.