Is The Detroit Tigers Rotation Deep Enough to Survive an Injury?
Justin Verlander, who had a resurgent second half in 2015, and the newly-signed Jordan Zimmermann should prove to be a formidable one-two punch. And a healthy Anibal Sanchez and Daniel Norris look just fine in the third and fourth rotation spots, but the Tigers have question marks following them.
Mike Pelfrey was brought in to be the team’s fifth starter, but he has battled injury and ineffectiveness in recent seasons (a 4.94 ERA and only 341 innings combined over the last three seasons).
If the Tigers happen to lose one of their top-four starters for a significant stretch — something that unfortunately happens all the time in the game of baseball — will they be able to make up the difference with quality innings from minor league depth?
Shane Greene imploded a season ago (6.88 ERA) before receiving a demotion to the minor leagues. Neither Buck Farmer (7.36 ERA) nor Matt Boyd (6.57 ERA) were able to make the most of their opportunities. Kyle Lobstein is no longer in the organization. Top-100 prospect Michael Fulmer is an intriguing name, but he has yet to pitch above the AA level.
Teams need to count on at least six starting pitchers to get through a season (if not seven or eight), but will the Tigers be able to find a reliable option when the time comes?
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