Detroit Tigers: Pitching Staff Set Up for Promising Future

Sep 4, 2016; Kansas City, MO, USA; Detroit Tigers pitcher Daniel Norris (44) greets teammates walking out from the bull pen against the Kansas City Royals during the first inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 4, 2016; Kansas City, MO, USA; Detroit Tigers pitcher Daniel Norris (44) greets teammates walking out from the bull pen against the Kansas City Royals during the first inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports /
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Detroit Tigers
Apr 24, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; A view of the Detroit Tigers logo on the on deck circle at Comerica Park. The Indians won 6-3. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /

Other Names to Watch

Depth is never a bad thing, and the Detroit Tigers may be spoiled for choices with relievers in the future.

Drew Smith, Adam Ravenelle and Paul Voelker represent three hard-throwing options who could be setup options down the road.

Smith is particularly intriguing due to the fact that he’s routinely thrown multiple innings in relief stints for West Michigan. It is obviously early, but there’s potential for him to fill a similar role to the one Andrew Miller fills in Cleveland.

With Ravenelle and Voelker already at Double-A Erie, it may not be long before Detroit’s young relievers start to find success at the Major League level.

Recent Draftees

Looking further down the road, Mark Ecker and Bryan Garcia are two other names to watch. The duo were selected in the fifth and sixth round of the 2016 draft.

They represented the Tigers’ highest draft picks not named Manning or Funkhouser, and could contribute to the Major League bullpen down the line.

Ecker and Garcia both ended their first season in professional baseball at West Michigan. Ecker allowed just three runs and five walks in 27.2 innings, while striking out 31 batters.

Next: Predicting the Tigers Lineup and Bench for the 2020 Season

Meanwhile, Garcia fanned 22 hitters in 18.2 frames. He was only tagged for five earned runs last season. However, three of them came in one bad outing in his Midwest League debut.