September can’t get here soon enough for the Tiger starting rotation as pitchers are dropping like flies. Even for the most devoted fans, it’s hard to keep track of who is going to pitch from one day to the next.
As always, our writers have not shared their answers to the Tuesday question, offering a range of perspectives is always the goal.
So what will readers get today as Holly and Kurt address a question about the state of the starting rotation?
Only 2 starting pitchers in the regular rotation remain. Obviously, 1 was traded and several got injured. But over the past week, the Tigers have been scrambling to find multiple starters at the last minute. What are our bloggers thinking about all of this?
It’s been the perfect storm of losing talent, injuries, a thin farm system and a desperate attempt to find a plausible arm in the bargain basement bin.
The loss of JV and Mike Fiers has obviously depleted the starting ranks, but most of the team’s injuries have been pitchers, especially starting pitchers. Almost all of them have been on the DL this year with 3 of them expected to be out for most or all of the rest of the year and the need to find replacements for all but Zimmermann.
But there’s a concern when 2 youngsters go down at the same time, both with elbow injuries, which just accelerates the destruction of the rotation. I’ve lost count how many pitchers the Tigers have DFA’d recently – Saupold, Turner, McAllister, Bell, VerHagen, Labourt, Hardy, Stumpf, Mujica, and others I’ve forgotten. Some of whom have found their way back into the Tigers system for another go-round and turn up again in the rotation like a bad penny.
It’s also pretty bad when you sign a pitcher DFA’d by 5 other teams, call him up, get bombed, send him down and then call him up again a week later to start a game because there is no one else. But the worst is then finding out he hasn’t yet met the call back date rules and you tell another pitcher as he arrives at the ballpark that – surprise! – you’re starting the game today! That is a mind-boggling, dumb and desperate move unbecoming of a MLB team.
It all either means that you have no one even remotely talented enough in AA or AAA to bring up and/or the owner has told his GM that he can only shop from the 75% off/clearance bin because the wallet has slammed shut.
There is no better time than year 1 of the rebuild, to be forced to bring up pitchers and evaluating what you have, regardless of the reason. But what is exasperating is finding out how little they have at AAA. The talent, and I use that term loosely, has been sub-par and no one has stood out as potential building blocks for a future starting rotation.
Weeks back, I think both Holly and I mentioned Victor Alcantara as having the most potential to join the starting staff as early as next season. But thus far, he has only been used in the pen, and he has been impressive.
From a starter standpoint, it tells you that even if the team has talented starting pitching in the pipeline, it is so far down the pipe you can’t see the light. They haven’t even been mentioned as possibilities for September call ups. So, will we see more options to consider in September, or is it just too soon for anyone meaningful?
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