Detroit Tigers probably won’t be this bad next season

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 31: Michael Fulmer #32 of the Detroit Tigers delivers a pitch in the first inning against the New York Yankees on July 31, 2017 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 31: Michael Fulmer #32 of the Detroit Tigers delivers a pitch in the first inning against the New York Yankees on July 31, 2017 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Tigers
DETROIT, MI – SEPTEMBER 1: Michael Fulmer #32 of the Detroit Tigers watches their game against the Cleveland Indians from the bench during the third inning of game two of a doubleheader at Comerica Park on September 1, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /

Pitching

The Detroit Tigers 2018 rotation could eventually feature prospects Franklin Perez, Grayson Long and Beau Burrows.

There’s also an outside shot that that pitchers like Sandy Baez, Matt Hall, Tyler Alexander or even Kyle Funkhouser join them.

That in itself is good news as the prospects should provide upgrades—or higher ceilings at the very least—to much of Detroit’s current rotation.

Due to injuries and trades, the Tigers have been forced to lean on Anibal Sanchez, Buck Farmer, Chad Bell, Myles Jaye and Artie Lewicki down the stretch.

While results matter little at this point, Detroit’s rotation certainly hasn’t helped keep the team competitive.

The rotation in September currently ranks 18th in WAR. The unit also has the seventh-worst xFIP (4.93), the second-highest WHIP (1.76) while throwing the fourth-fewest innings (91).

Part of that is obviously due to a .377 BABIP that paces all Major League rotations since the end of August.

However, of the 19 hurlers Detroit has sent to the mound, just four have a SIERA south of 4.00. What’s more, 10 of them have a SIERA of 5.00 or higher.

Why 2018 will be an improvement

Despite all the struggles in September, the 2018 season will be much better for the Detroit Tigers from a pitching standpoint.

First and foremost, Michael Fulmer will be pitching every fifth day. That should improve things exponentially.

Fulmer could be joined in the rotation by some free agent signings.

Detroit’s fill-ins down the stretch haven’t exactly pitched at a Cy Young level.

Because of this, the Tigers may find it prudent to add a veteran free agent or two on a one-year deal.

That way, the team will have some veteran placeholders for Perez and company. Once the prospects are ready, Detroit can flip the veterans for more prospects.

This allows the Tigers to add some stability to the team, keeping the team more competitive in the process.

Some veterans who could fit the bill include Jaime Garcia, old friend Doug Fister and Tyson Ross.