Detroit Tigers: Making Sense of the All-Star Omissions
No K-Rod, Fulmer Robbed
Francisco Rodriguez entered Tuesday tied with Zach Britton and David Robertson for the American-League lead in saves with 23, yet, curiously, he was left of the roster.
The American League features a number of elite relievers that made the team, but it seems odd to leave K-Rod at home. Detroit’s closer has pitched to a 3.03 ERA in 29.2 innings pitched. To go along with his 23 saves, he’s also struck out 29 batters. This year, the AL team is heavy on relievers, with just four starting pitchers named to the team.
Of those four—Chris Sale, Steven Wright, Cole Hamels and Marco Estrada—Sale is the only one having far and away a better season than Fulmer. At 14-2 with a 2.93 ERA in 120 innings pitched, Sale might be having a better season than just about everyone on the junior circuit.
Still, the case could be made that Fulmer is having a better season than the other three. Here’s a look at their numbers
Wright: 9-5, 2.42 ERA, 3.61 FIP, 108 innings pitched, 87 strikeouts, 2.5 WAR.
Fulmer: 8-2, 2.17 ERA, 3.52 FIP, 70.2 innings pitched, 70 strikeouts, 3.2 WAR.
Hamels: 9-2, 2.93 ERA, 4.39 FIP, 107.2 innings pitched, 105 strikeouts, 2.8 WAR.
Estrada: 5-3, 2.93 ERA, 4.14 FIP, 104.1 innings pitched, 99 strikeouts, 2.8 WAR.
Fulmer has thrown fewer innings than the other three, but his run prevention numbers grade out much better—as does his WAR. The Tigers starter was probably also a victim of the team choosing so many relievers. Fulmer likely would have been next in line had the team decided to carry more starters.
It should be pointed out that injuries and withdrawals could mean a number of Tigers players making it into the game. However, for now, Miggy is the only one assured a roster spot.
Next: Which Tampa Bay Starting Pitcher is the Best Fit for Detroit?
Ian Kinsler could still make into the game. Vote here at MLB.com and use the hashtag #VoteKinsler to help the Detroit Tigers second baseman make it to San Diego.