Detroit Tigers: Expect a six man rotation to start the 2020 season

(Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
(Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

The Detroit Tigers will most likely implement a six-man rotation for the 2020 season.

As the Detroit Tigers prepare for camp before the 2020 season beginning, things are going to be quite different. The COVID-19 outbreak has put quite the changes into the game of baseball for 2020, and that has caused even more reactionary changes.

Given the league starting back up, it would be more than expected that the Tigers run a longer rotation, a six-man/six-day rotation to keep arms fresh and avoid injuries. This would also allow the organization to start working in some of the prospects along the way to give some chances.

The Tigers may not be as worried about a “star pitcher” as a team like the Washington Nationals are with Max Scherzer, but it still is cause for concern. The health of names like Matthew Boyd or Michael Fulmer is still valuable for trade value in a year where a team making a run might overpay for pitching depth.

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With a 60-game season ahead of them, in theory, the Tigers could use a six-man rotation and have each starter make ten starts during the season barring injury or substitution. The extra rest between starts is going to be crucial when “spring ball” was paused.

This makes things tough because players have been off for almost three months in some cases, they may have still been working out, but they surely were not playing in games, getting live reps in off a mound.

It is going to take these pitchers extra time to get their arms where they need to be to compete during the 2020 season. Now for the Tigers, being competitive is not a worry, but the cause for concern is going to be preserving arms and avoiding injury.

In this case, trotting Boyd out there to start game one is not going to be a scenario where Boyd is going to throw until his arm falls off, he could very well throw three to five innings and be done. Given all of this, starting pitchers may see starts cut short to keep their arms intact and healthy.

Frankly, this is the perfect time for teams to try out an opener strategy, even if they let their starter go for three innings, hand the ball to a long reliever for three innings, and then let the closing crew get it done.

Expanded rosters mean that teams can try to build a deeper pitching staff and make sure they do not run into any issues along the way. This means the Tigers can use the younger pitchers, or in Al Avila’s bright mind, they can be “competitive” after having the worst record in the league.

This is also an opportunity to start using some of the younger players the Tigers have to let them get some innings in at the big league level. It could allow for names like Beau Burrows, Anthony Castro, Matt Manning, Casey Mize, Franklin Perez, and Tarik Skubal to get their first crack at the big leagues.

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The changes are coming, like it or not, but the Detroit Tigers and the rest of the league are going to have to adapt to get through this season smoothly.