Detroit Tigers spring training preview: pitching

The Tigers celebrate their sweep in last year's ALCS.

On Monday, February 11th, the Detroit Tigers will have their pitchers report to Lakeland, Florida for spring training. There is a lot of excitement surrounding the Tigers this year and most of that surronds the starting rotation of the team. With the always strong Justin Verlander returning to the team, the Tigers are in good hands. They also resigned Anibel Sanchez, for 5 years, $80 million, and got Max Scherzer to sign a one year, $6.7 million deal.

Detroit has both Doug Fister and Rick Porcello returning to their rotation for another year as well. The Tigers enter spring training as one of the few teams with a complete starting rotation. But, you can’t help but hear trade rumors surrounding Rick Porcello, who at this point is still the fifth starter in the rotation.

The same thing goes for the bullpen as they are returning most of their bullpen. We may see young players get a bigger role in late game situations, with players like the 26 year old right hander, Al Alburquerque or the 23 year old lefty, Drew Smyly. Detroit’s only major need is at the closer position, after releasing Jose Valverde after his playoff meltdown. With most top notch closers already picked up early in the off-season, the Tigers are left with limited options. The most likely option would be calling up triple digit closer Bruce Rondon to become the Tigers starting closer. Phil Coke would also make a good option, as he proved he could handle the pressure by closing out several close games in the playoffs. A far-off option is the Tigers reaching out and signing one of the closers left on the market, which includes former San Francisco Giant, Brian Wilson.

Overall the defending ALCS champion, Detroit Tigers, will enter spring training with a very solid pitching staff that will help them make their run at the World Series for back to back years.



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