If Farmer is the best bet of the bunch, Saupold might be a close second.
Providing plenty of value as a reliever early in the year with his ability to soak up innings, Saupold ended up hemorrhaging runs down the stretch.
This left his run-prevention stats (5.57 xFIP, 5.39 FIP, 5.13 SIERA and a 4.88 ERA) in the “leaves something to be desired” category.
In his last 25.2 innings, the right-hander allowed 35 hits, 24 earned runs, 19 walks and four home runs.
If he can pitch similarly to how he did in the first 33.2 innings of the year (23 hits, 11 walks, eight earned runs and four home runs allowed), Detroit’s rotation will be in much better shape.
Bell’s Major League career started with plenty of promise, with no runs allowed through his first 7.2 innings and just five runs overall in his first 20.1 frames.
That being said, the next 43 innings weren’t as promising.
The southpaw faced 212 batters in those innings. In the process he was tagged for 65 hits, 43 earned runs, 24 walks and nine home runs.
So yeah, not a great ratio there.
Detroit may find it more advantageous to move Bell to a role as a one-inning reliever, where his velocity can play up more.
It’s also worth noting that the left-hander recorded exactly three outs on eight different occasions in 2017. He gave up just seven hits, three walks and two runs over that span, striking out seven.
That’s obviously small sample size, but it’s something to go on for a bullpen filled with uncertainty.