Detroit Tigers: Can Michael Fulmer turn things around in 2021?

(Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports)
(Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Detroit Tigers should expect things to take a positive trend for right-handed pitcher Michael Fulmer during the 2021 season. The Tigers finally got Fulmer back and healthy in 2020 after things were trending downward.

The 2020 season did not exactly provide the output that Fulmer wanted, but it was a long absence from the mound, and he had to reacclimate. But, in 2021, there should be hope that Fulmer can get things on the right track and be much more effective.

With a new pitching coach fostering their development, the Tigers pitching staff should be able to hone in on some development. Chris Fetter is going to create some incredible opportunities for this pitching staff, and the hope should be he can change things for Fulmer.

Development will be key for Fulmer, who needs to get back on track, and Fetter should only positively impact this process, especially after a down year in 2020. Expect positive change for Fulmer in the coming 2021 season.

The Detroit Tigers should expect Michael Fulmer to make drastic changes and be a much better pitcher during the 2021 season.

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Looking back, the 2020 season was not the return to the mound that Fulmer had hoped for. He appeared in 10 games where he accumulated 27.2 innings pitched. He had an 8.78 ERA, a 2.06 WHIP, while allowing 45 hits in the process.

Fulmer has a niche role he can fill until he gets some legs under him. To use this pitching staff effectively, they can pair him with Daniel Norris and work quite the strategy out.

If the Tigers were to start Fulmer for three to four innings and then turn over the keys to Norris, the hope should be good things happen.

For this strategy to work, the Tigers are banking on Fulmer being able to get through the lineup once with success and then be able to leave the game on a good note.

After that, Norris, who usually has success one time through the order, can come in and dominate for nine outs before handing it off to the back end of the bullpen.

Obviously, this is the best-case scenario, and this is the Tigers, but the hope should be for a strategy like this. But that requires Fulmer to make the necessary jump back to a competent performance level.

If Fulmer is able to be the pitcher he was in 2016 and even 2017, the Tigers will luck out; however, that seems a stretch. But even being a serviceable arm who can throw four solid innings and hand it off to the bullpen can work in the big leagues.

Plus, it is not like the Tigers will be competing for a playoff spot, so experimenting with a Tampa Bay Ray-Esque strategy might work out for the betterment of the Tigers’ pitching staff. Hopefully, Fulmer can get things figured out for the 2021 season!

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With Michael Fulmer poised for a bounce-back year, expect pitching coach Chris Fetter to play a major role in this development with the new approach he brings to the organization.