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Detroit Tigers: Scouting Report on Atlanta

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Aug 16, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) pitches in the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 16, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) pitches in the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Sep 16, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Ian Krol (46) and catcher James McCann (34) celebrate after defeating the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. The Tigers won 7-4 in twelve innings. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports /

The Pitching Staff

Atlanta’s pitching staff is very similar to the offense in the sense that there is one key player (Julio Teheran) being built around for the future.

However, there aren’t as many veteran place holders to be found.

Of all the pitchers to make a start for Atlanta this year and still hold a roster spot, only two are over the age of 25.

With the youth has come growing pains. Despite the presence of Teheran, Atlanta’ starters own the fifth-highest SIERA in the league at 4.64. Their 1.38 home runs allowed per nine innings is currently the sixth-highest rate in the league. Lastly, in terms of xFIP, the starting staff in Atlanta rank fourth to last in the Majors.

Bullpen

As it happens, two former Tigers play key roles in Atlanta’s bullpen. Jim Johnson saved 18 games entering Thursday, and owns a 2.82 FIP and a 1.2 WAR. Ian Krol, acquired in the Maybin swap, has pitched to a sparkling 2.85 SIERA. The ex-Detroit reliever has also struck out 9.77 batters per nine innings.

Outside of those two, Mauricio Cabrera (2.88 FIP) and Chaz Roe (1.77 FIP), there are some question marks. Chris Withrow’s 3.58 ERA looks solid, but his 4.89 FIP tells a different story. Fellow relievers John Gant, Ryan Weber and Tyrell Jenkins all have FIP numbers of 4.50 or higher.

At first glance, the relievers in Atlanta have a respectable 4.0 WAR on the season. That’s good for 13th in the league. However, a closer look at the numbers reveals that the relief corps may not be as effective.

As a whole, Atlanta’s 4.32 bullpen xFIP is tied for the fifth-worst mark among Major League franchises. Additionally, the relievers on the National League East club own the seventh-highest WHIP in baseball, not to mention the fourth-highest SIERA.

Next: Right Call to Start Zimmermann in Atlanta

Atlanta’s relief pitchers also hand out 4.10 walks per nine innings. Only four teams in the Major League allow more.

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