Detroit Tigers: 3 starters and 2 openers rounds out 2020 starting rotation

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Tigers have gone through the starting rotation once, offers some clarity for this 2020 season.

After a victory against the Kansas City Royals, the Detroit Tigers are now 3-2 on the season. More importantly, they have gone through rotation all the way through, leaving Matthew Boyd set to take the hill once again.

Looking at the last five games, it appears that the Tigers will be relying on three conventional starters with two opener spots at the back end of the rotation for the 2020 season. Now, an injury caused Dario Agrazal to miss his scheduled Tuesday start, and head to the Injured List (IL).

Even with Agrazal in the five-spot, the Tigers would not expect to be getting six or seven innings out of him; he is more of a four to five innings arm before turning it over to the bullpen. But, with a forearm strain, he will be sidelined until things clear up for the right-hander.

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Looking at the rotation, the three conventional starters are going to be Boyd, Iván Nova, and Spencer Turnbull.

While Nova may not be consistently throwing six or seven innings, he has been deemed worthy of around six innings.

He gives up runs early and works around hitters on good days on the hill, making him worthy of a starting spot in the eyes of the Tigers organization.

Boyd had a rough first start, picking up where he left off at the end of the 2019 season, struggling.

In his second start of the season, he will look to bounce back and be more productive on the hill, posting a much better performance.

Now, Turnbull has looked to be pitching very well; his 2019 numbers are not very telling for his caliber of play.

Turnbull is going to emerge as the ace by the end of this season if he can continue to make quality starts for the Tigers, primarily being stationed in the number three role as he is right now. The starting core of the Tigers rotation will look to keep them in games; so far, it has left them sitting 3-2.

The Detroit Tigers’ other two rotation spots are falling in the hands of openers, a new normal across baseball.

The opener strategy has found its way into baseball, traditionalists hate it, analytics geeks love it, and the Detroit Tigers are using it. They are not the only organization around the league to use this strategy, especially in 2020, where teams are looking to keep pitchers fresh in a 60-game sprint.

To cap off the rotation, it was supposed to be Michael Fulmer making his return to the mound and newcomer Dario Agrazal, making his Tigers debut. As mentioned above, Agrazal would not make his start due to injury, and Rule-5 selection Rony Garcia would replace him.

Fulmer would only make it 2.2 innings pitched, though it was noted he would be used as an opener either way. Sadly, his day was ruined by the Royals and the long ball, allowing three home runs in just under three innings.

But, for the future, a three- to five-inning start from Fulmer should allow him to cement the role as the fourth spot in the rotation. If he can deliver a quick outing and hand things over to Tyler Alexander or Kyle Funkhouser, it will be great for the Tigers.

Beyond Fulmer, the fifth spot may just be just a bullpen spot for the time being, but Rony Garcia did not look bad in his big league debut. He would pitch in three innings in his first big league start, allowing three hits, three runs, one home run, and punching out three.

For the time being, he could anchor down that back end of the rotation, starting games before giving way to the bullpen. It means that the last two spots of the bullpen could get quite taxing on the bullpen, but the three starters, two openers strategy is the way to rock for now.

Detroit Tigers: An ideal scenario for the bullpen during the 2020 season. light. Trending

The Detroit Tigers should continue to work with three starters & two openers as their rotation while the 2020 season continues.