Who would have thought that the Tigers could have a deep starting pitching rotation – one where they cannot get down to 5 starters? Well, this may be a reality soon, as least through the end of July.
With Francisco Liriano almost ready to come back, the team has a decision to make.
Here’s our topic for today.
With Jordan Zimmerman’s return to the rotation, are the Tigers doing the right thing by moving Blaine Hardy back to the bullpen? Do they have any other options?
While the Tigers ponder the suddenly conceivable 6-man rotation, let’s think about what that means. Just to get us grounded, the 6 starters would be: Fulmer, Boyd, Fiers, Liriano, Zimmermann and Hardy.
When Liriano comes back, the last thing you want is for him to leave the rotation; he must continue to be groomed as a coveted lefty starter and trade piece. Fiers is the same type of asset.
Zimmermann needs to start because, damn it, that’s what we are paying him to do. And Hardy – well, he has earned the right to continue in the rotation; in fact, he may be better than he has ever been in this new role.
So let’s give that 6-man rotation a go, because none pf the pitchers make sense in a bullpen role going forward, for all their individual reasons.
With the news that Francisco Liriano will need at least one more rehab start, Blaine Hardy’s starting job is secure for at least 1 more week. He has the best won/loss record of all the starters and has an ERA second only to Matthew Boyd, allowing 2 runs or less in each of his last 6 of 7 starts with opponents hitting a mere .226 against him.
And this is where reality bites because almost all teams will select the guy owed $74 million instead of the most deserving, not just because of the money factor, but because it tells the world that the Front Office made a really big mistake if they drop him from the rotation.
These costly mistakes, when made official, also tend to get at least 1 person involved in that contract signing fired.
Ron Gardenhire has just started talking about a 6-man rotation and credited Chris Bosio with persuading him with the stats that support the move. But I believe that such a strategy will never progress to adopt a strict 6-man rotation because of injuries and potential trades.
After his initial – and still classified as mystery injury(ies) 2 years ago – Zimmermann has yet to pitch that 30-game minimum number of starts as a Tiger and I don’t think he will finish the year without having to go on the DL at least once more. He’s already had 4 injuries and trips to the DL just this year.
Both Liriano and/or Fiers could also be traded this year which would keep Hardy in the rotation to stay. I think between 1-2 trades combined with the DL factor, Hardy’s job as a starter could remain safe if he can just hang on for another 3-4 weeks.
Totally Tigers loves your comments! But please remember that responses are only published if they address today’s topic, are respectful and do not exceed the maximum response length. All rules are at: https://totallytigers.wordpress.com/commentsrules/.