The work stoppage is becoming worrisome and the Detroit Tigers getting back on the field soon for Spring Training looks more and more unlikely by the day. While the league’s owners and the Players Association did meet on Thursday for the first time since before the holidays, there’s not much progress.
The Detroit Tigers have to be thinking about the future and all of the things in jeopardy. The next on the docket to be wiped away by a lockout is Spring Training, with pitchers and catchers slated to report in mid-February.
Whenever the two sides do get things rolling and end this work stoppage, the Tigers still have work to do this offseason, whether that offseason is swift before Spring Training or is some sort of grace period before a “Summer Camp” type thing happens again.
For this, I’m being optimistic that the owners and the MLBPA are going to straighten things out soon to avoid losing more revenue from the 2022 season. When the Tigers can get going again, they need to address the need for starting pitcher depth.
The Detroit Tigers need to pursue some non-roster invitee starting pitchers.
The bottom line is, Tyler Alexander is the team’s five-starter right now in the rotation. It would be wise to bring a few low-cost arms on non-roster invitee deals to try and create some competition for the back end of the rotation.
The Tigers went out and grabbed Eduardo Rodriguez on a nice five-year contract to be a part of the rotation beyond the rebuild and into an era of competition. However, the back of the rotation is still a weak spot for the Tigers.
Matt Manning is in the fourth spot of the rotation and will have to earn the privilege to stick in that slot, but some healthy competition is a good thing. There are plenty of free agents left across Major League Baseball since the offseason was put on pause shortly after it began.
There are starting pitcher options out there. The players the Tigers need to be targeting are the likes of Chris Archer, Zach Davies, Jordan Lyles, Matt Moore, Aaron Sanchez, or any of those types of pitchers.
These players who have been in the league and are not high-caliber; but could eat up innings for the Tigers while also keeping the team in ballgames every start. It would allow the Tigers to build their rotation top to bottom with solid arms and have the depth to call upon in the minors if needed.
Starting pitching depth has been an issue in recent years for the Tigers, so trying to create some competition and find a few solutions for the team’s pitching staff seems smart.
The question is when the Tigers will be able to do that, given the lockout situation.