With the exception of four players (Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez, Ian Kinsler, and Max Scherzer), the Detroit Tigers’ players and coaches will go their separate ways for four days following the conclusion of today’s game with the Kansas City Royals. Before they go, the Tigers have a little business to take care of: announcing the pitching rotation for the second half.
Regardless of today’s outcome, the Tigers have done well against the Royals in this four-game series. They will end the unofficial first-half with at least a 6.5-game lead over KC. With a win, the lead would balloon to 8.5 games.
The team will face another opportunity to put distance between themselves and the rest of the division with an elongated four-game series at home with the Cleveland Indians.
The series will feature a day-night doubleheader on Saturday to make up for an April 15 rainout.
Anibal Sanchez will receive the honor of getting the first start following the All-Star break. Usually a manager will try to reward the pitcher with the best first half by giving him the first second half start. While Sanchez doesn’t have the best record for the Tigers, he may have been the most consistent starter though the season’s first 4 1/2 months.
The rotation sets up as follows:
Saturday: Game 1 — TBD (Likely Robbie Ray being called up for one day for the start)
Saturday: Game 2 — Scherzer
Sunday: Drew Smyly
Monday: Justin Verlander
Tuesday: Rick Porcello
At the conclusion of the Cleveland series, Detroit will hit the road for Arizona and Anaheim. Verlander and Porcello will start the first two games against the Diamondbacks.
Ray can come up from Toledo and the Tigers would not have to make a corresponding move to make room for him. Prior to 2012, MLB changed its rules to allow for a team to have a 26-man roster on the day of a doubleheader.