Detroit Tigers 2021 season grades for starting pitchers

(Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports)
(Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Detroit Tigers, Tarik Skubal
(Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports) /

Detroit Tigers 2021 season starting pitchers grades.

Tarik Skubal: B

Tarik Skubal also took a step forward in 2021, but not quite as large as Mize’s. He still had a 2.1 HR/9 and still had a 7.4% walk rate, but the other end of that was an 11% jump in groundball rate. Oh yeah, he also set the Tigers’ rookie strikeout record with a staggering 164 in 149.1 innings.

Spencer Turnbull: A-

For nine starts, Spencer Turnbull was the ace that the Tigers desperately needed. He threw a no-hitter, had a 57.2% groundball rate, and a 1.5fWAR according to FanGraphs. His average fastball velocity was up to 94.5 mph! Tommy John really puts a damper on things, doesn’t it?

José Ureña: D

José Ureña is an interesting case in that he did exactly what the Tigers needed him to do (eat innings) for approximately two months. Was he a great starter? Definitely no, but he ate innings consistently until June 6th, after which he never pitched five innings in a game again (including seven starts) until he was finally shifted to the bullpen. He was not good, not fun to watch, and did not even consistently achieve what the Tigers brought him in to do.

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Overall, it was quite the year for the starting staff. Several young pitchers took massive steps forward, and several ate key innings when asked to pitch in big spots. The performance of the Tigers starting pitchers was a bright spot in the season for sure.