Detroit Tigers starting pitchers have seen some serious changes in the last few months. With Michael Fulmer on the shelf, Detroit needs to focus on finding starters for 2018.
Detroit Tigers fans will see a much different rotation down the stretch.
Longtime ace Justin Verlander was traded to the Houston Astros while current ace Michael Fulmer is out for the rest of the season due to injury.
Additionally, Daniel Norris is working out of the bullpen to close 2017 after missing most of July and all of August due to injury.
Jordan Zimmermann is dealing with an injury of his own. Whether he returns to the mound this year remains to be seen.
That leaves Matthew Boyd as the only holdover.
Boyd (5.09 xFIP, 1.692 WHIP) has been far from perfect in 109.1 innings this season. However, he gives the team a known quantities in a rotation in need of answers heading into 2018.
Anibal Sanchez is still around as well, but at this point, the Detroit Tigers need to be giving the likes of Farmer, Jaye and Lewicki an extended audition down the stretch for 2018.
Sanchez simply hasn’t been the answer.
Outside of a brief four-game stretch (22 strikeouts and eight runs allowed in 23.1 innings) where his butterfly changeup was on full effect, the veteran has struggled mightily.
His ERA sits at 7.43, and his FIP isn’t much better at 6.27. The veteran also has a 1.676 WHIP in 82.1 innings.
Those numbers simply aren’t going to cut it.
According to Spotrac, Sanchez has a $16 million option on his contract for next season. He can be bought out for $5 million.
Detroit should move Sanchez to the bullpen for the rest of the year and simply buy him out in the offseason.
A rebuilding team and a 33-year-old with a FIP north of six aren’t exactly a hand-in-glove fit.
As difficult as it might be initially, the Tigers should be handing starts to the team’s younger starters.