Detroit Tigers: These Are Their Five Core Players for 2016

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Justin Verlander

Verlander was shut down near the end of spring training with a triceps injury and didn’t make his 2015 debut until June 13 against the Cleveland Indians. He struggled through his first month back but from July 24  to the end of the season he pitched like the ace of the staff Tigers fans knew from 2006 to 2012.

Over that span of 14 starts he had a record of 5-5, threw 99.1 innings with one complete game, struck out 91 hitters and put together a .207 ERA. He was hit by opponents for a meager 2.27 batting average with an excellent BAbip of .260.

Verlander will be paid as the ace of the staff, $28 million a year over the next four seasons, and appears ready to take up that mantle for the Tigers once again.