With a few weeks to go before Spring Training, the Detroit Tigers have signed yet another veteran arm to “add depth” to their bullpen after signing Hector Santiago to a minor league contract. This move should frustrate fans as the Tigers’ front office continues to display its cluelessness.
Bringing in Hector Santiago adds depth, it adds an innings eater, and it adds a veteran presence to the Triple-A clubhouse. Those are simply excuses at this point, they are true statements, but this is entirely unnecessary. The Detroit Tigers have arguably eleven different young “prospect” arms between the Double-A and Triple-A level. Any Tigers fan should know the strength of prospects the organization does have comes from the pitching staff.
The pitching arms are taking awhile to get the big leagues, which is expected, especially to be careful on the arms, to avoid any significant injuries — but bringing in more useless starting pitching to create a logjam for the prospects? That is just ludicrous.
Going into the 2020 season, these are the players who will be on the Major League Roster who could start games; Matt Boyd, Daniel Norris, Jordan Zimmermann, Spencer Turnbull, Iván Nova, and possibly Rony Garcia from the Rule-5 Draft. Michael Fulmer is on the shelf with an injury that will bring him back mid-summer, adding another arm to the rotation.
At the Triple-A level, Godley will be one of the veterans stationed there alongside the newly signed Hector Santiago. Alexander will also most likely begin in the minor leagues, as another player who has pitched in the big leagues with 2019 being his first real shot with the club. Now, Godley and Santiago do have the ability to be starters or relievers, but if they are starters, they are taking away innings from the youngsters.
As it stands, Matt Manning, Beau Burrows, Kyle Funkhouser, Anthony Castro, Tarik Skubal, Joey Wentz, and Alex Faedo are all slated to be on the staff. To clarify, Casey Mize will likely start 2020 with Double-A Erie to get back into the swing of things after being shut down early with his arm issues.
The crop of young arms stocks up the Triple-A Toledo AND Double-A Erie pitching staffs, there’s no reason to take away innings with someone like the left-handed Santiago.