Detroit Tigers: 5 Starting Pitching Questions

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Mar 16, 2015; Jupiter, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher David Price (14) delivers a pitch against the St. Louis Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Tigers 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Throughout much of this decade the Detroit Tigers had a dominant pitching staff.

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That dominance faltered in 2014 as Detroit starters fell to the lower end of the pack for AL starting pitching. Starters allowed 4.35 runs per game last year, 10th out 15 teams and below the 4.14 league average.

Those stats include Drew Smyly, who was up and down before being traded to Tampa Bay, but caught fire for the Rays. It also includes David Price who came in return of Smyly (and Austin Jackson by way of Seattle) and several young Tigers’ spot starters which included Buck Farmer, Kyle Lobstein, Robbie Ray, Kyle Ryan and Drew VerHagen.

Two-fifths of the starters that ended 2014 with the Tigers have departed (Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello). Losing Max is a huge hit to the Tigers’ rotation. They had three starters that arguably could be dynamic at the start of last season (Justin Verlander, Scherzer, Sanchez). Verlander’s struggles knocked him off that list as did Sanchez’s injuries. Price arrived and gave the Tigers’ a very good 1-2 punch, but where do we stand in 2015?

One could argue that only Price is considered dynamic because of Verlander’s continued struggles and Sanchez’s durability concerns.

So let’s take a look at the five starters and a question about each one as we move toward Opening Day.