The Detroit Tigers rotation is not going to be great in 2020, but getting one of their better arms back in Michael Fulmer may allow the Tigers to not lost 120-plus games. Fulmer is working back from injuries and is slated to be back mid-summer.
Back in the spring of 2019, it was determined that starting pitcher Michael Fulmer would need arm surgery. He is on a 15-16 month timetable for return since the surgery on his elbow. Fulmer had knee and elbow surgery, which kept him out during the 2019 season. During his time off, Fulmer recently reflected that he spent the 2019 summer watching the Detroit Tigers play with his three-month-old kid, explaining things far beyond his comprehension, but he noted that he is eager to get back on the mound for the Tigers.
In 2016, Fulmer took home the American League Rookie of the Year award after he pitched to an 11-7 record, a 3.06 ERA, a 1.12 WHIP, and 132 punchouts over 159 innings pitched. He came back after the 2016 season and followed up with an all-star appearance in 2017.
Fulmer made twenty-five starts in 2017, pitching to a 10-12 record with a 3.83 ERA, a 1.15 WHIP, and 114 strikeouts over 164.2 innings pitched.
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He was one of the Tigers’ better arms during this time, especially after the team dumped Justin Verlander over to the *BANG BANG* Houston Astros.
Fulmer last pitched for the Tigers in 2018, where he made twenty-four starts, pitching to a 3-12 record, a 4.69 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, and 110 strikeouts over 132.1 innings pitched. Fulmer was dealing with arm injuries during that season, resulting in him needing the surgery last spring. He was not nearly as effective as he was in his prior two seasons with the Tigers, but hopefully, this surgery will right the ship.
Assuming all goes well, Fulmer should be able to join the Tigers rotation, which features Matthew Boyd as the “ace” for all intents and purposes, Jordan Zimmermann, Spencer Turnbull, Iván Nova, and Daniel Norris.
Fulmer could most likely knock Nova back into the bullpen and take his spot in the rotation as a right-handed arm. Ideally, Fulmer will return to the Tigers rotation mid-season in late June or early July and be able to pitch them to a couple wins to avoid just as bad of a season as 2019.
With Fulmer back to the form he was, he could easily be the number two starter for the Detroit Tigers. Fulmer will only get about a half-season of starts when he returns, but even then, it will hopefully allow the Tigers to be the least bit more competitive on top of the signings they have already made.
Currently working through a throwing program, he is playing catch at 120 feet according to reports, he has a ways to go before he gets to throw off a mound, but that is an improvement for Fulmer.