Detroit Tigers: Projecting Long-Term Replacements for Veterans Part 1

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Aug 17, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez (41) receives congratulations from right fielder J.D. Martinez (28) after he hits a home run in the second inning against the Kansas City Royals at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 17, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez (41) receives congratulations from right fielder J.D. Martinez (28) after he hits a home run in the second inning against the Kansas City Royals at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Detroit Tigers
Jul 19, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez (19) wave to the fans as he walks off the field after being relieved in the seventh inning against the Minnesota Twins at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

Anibal Sanchez and Mike Pelfrey
Age: 32 (Sanchez) and 33 (Pelfrey)
Position: Starting Pitcher
Contracts Expire Following the 2017 Season*
(Per Spotrac, Sanchez’ contract can be bought out for $5 million after next season.)

It probably is safe to say that both Anibal Sanchez and Mike Pelfrey had down seasons last year.

Sanchez, who once led the American League in ERA, saw his ERA balloon to 5.87. He allowed 171 hits, 100 earned runs and 53 walks in 153.1 innings.

Elsewhere, Pelfrey struggled in his first year in the Motor City. Signed to provide quality innings, the starter turned in a 5.07 ERA and an unsightly 5.15 FIP.

The veteran simply allowed too many base runners. In 119 frames, the former Met was tagged for 160 hits and 46 walks.

In fact, Pelfrey nearly finished with more free passes (46) than strikeouts (56).

Potential Long-Term Replacements: Daniel Norris and Matt Boyd

With many of the veterans on this list, the prospects most likely to replace them are years away from being Major League ready.

However, Sanchez and Pelfrey’s respective rotation replacements are already in the Majors.

Daniel Norris and Matt Boyd made a combined 31 starts last season, and the young duo should continue to start games for Detroit.

Daniel Norris

Norris turned in a 1.1 WAR in limited action, which included notching a 3.38 ERA and a 3.94 SIERA in 69.1 innings of work.

What’s more, the former top prospect struck out 9.2 batters per nine frames while allowing just 2.9 walks per nine innings.

Matt Boyd

Boyd’s numbers—4.53 ERA, 7.6 strikeouts per nine innings—won’t stand out as much, but he’s got plenty of pitching ability.

From early July to late August, the Washington native posted a stellar 2.55 ERA in 49.1 innings. That same stretch saw the right-hander hold batters to a .222 batting average and a .289 on-base percentage.

In those 49.1 innings, Boyd also punched out 46 batters while walking only 15.

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