Detroit Tigers News

Detroit Tigers: Week 1 Winners and Losers

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Apr 9, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler (3) and first baseman Miguel Cabrera (24) celebrate after scoring in the fourth inning against the New York Yankees at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 9, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler (3) and first baseman Miguel Cabrera (24) celebrate after scoring in the fourth inning against the New York Yankees at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Detroit Tigers
Mar 2, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Drew VerHagen (54) reacts on the mound against the New York Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Winner: Drew VerHagen

For all the worry that came about after Francisco Rodriguez’ blown save on Opening Day, the Detroit bullpen has been quietly effective since.

K-Rod rebounded with a solid, while fellow new additions Justin Wilson and Mark Lowe looked sharp in a combined five innings pitched.

However, the big winner where the relief pitchers were concerned was Drew VerHagen.

The right-handed reliever probably would have still made the team if injuries didn’t force Blaine Hardy and Alex Wilson to miss time, but the two injuries have opened the door to more opportunities for VerHagen.

Brad Ausmus has so far leaned on the Vanderbilt product, using him in three games. VerHagen has rewarded the manager’s faith in him with a trio of solid performances.

The reliever has yet to allow a run in three innings, and has only been tagged for two hits and a walk where base runners are concerned. The 25-year-old also has a strikeout and one of the team’s three wins.

VerHagen was particularly effective against the Marlins in the opening series. The righty faced Giancarlo Stanton twice in tense situations, and in both instances he got the slugger to strike out.

If he continues to pitch at this level, he’ll give the Tigers yet another weapon out of a suddenly solid bullpen. Once Hardy and Wilson are healthy, look out.

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