Along with Miguel Cabrera and Michael Fulmer, Justin Verlander is perhaps the biggest lock to return to Detroit next season. He simply isn’t going anywhere.
Last season where there was uncertainty with the back end of the Tigers rotation, there shouldn’t be any when Detroit players convene in Lakeland to begin Spring Training.
Verlander will lead a rotation that will also be headlined by Fulmer. In an ideal world, Jordan Zimmermann will bounce back and provide a source of quality innings, while Daniel Norris and Matt Boyd continue to take steps forward.
Given Anibal Sanchez and Mike Pelfrey’s struggles, a swingman probably wouldn’t hurt, but the aforementioned five pitchers give the Tigers the best chance to return to the playoffs.
Never one to shy away from pitching in crucial games, Verlander will once again lead the way for Detroit.
While Detroit’s ace isn’t the flame-throwing hurler he once was, he’s clearly evolved as a pitcher to the point where he could win the 2016 American League Cy Young without relying on that blazing fastball.
Expect Verlander to once again post ace-like numbers for the Detroit Tigers during the 2017 campaign as he marches the team back to the playoffs.