Detroit Tigers News

Detroit Tigers: Candidates to slot in as second starting pitcher after Michael Fulmer

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DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 17: Pitcher Matthew Boyd #48 of the Detroit Tigers, center, is visited by shortstop Dixon Machado #49 of the Detroit Tigers and catcher Bryan Holaday #50 of the Detroit Tigers after giving up a hit to Tim Anderson of the Chicago White Sox to end his no-hit bid in the ninth inning at Comerica Park on September 17, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers defeated the White Sox 12-0. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 17: Pitcher Matthew Boyd #48 of the Detroit Tigers, center, is visited by shortstop Dixon Machado #49 of the Detroit Tigers and catcher Bryan Holaday #50 of the Detroit Tigers after giving up a hit to Tim Anderson of the Chicago White Sox to end his no-hit bid in the ninth inning at Comerica Park on September 17, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers defeated the White Sox 12-0. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Tigers
PITTSBURGH, PA – AUGUST 07: Jordan Zimmermann #27 of the Detroit Tigers reacts after giving up a two run home run in the seventh inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates during interleague play at PNC Park on August 7, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

Jordan Zimmermann

If Zimmermann can regain some of the form he showed with the Nationals, this role will be his. However, he’s failed to pitch like the starter who consistently racked up seasons of a 3.0 fWAR or higher in Washington

Zimmermann struggled mightily in his first go-around in Detroit, but that paled in comparison to his 2017 season as he was hit around much more often.

In 160 innings, the veteran turned in a 1.55 WHIP, a 5.41 xFIP, a 5.22 SIERA and a 5.18 FIP.

Zimmermann’s hard contact percentage also ballooned, going from 27.2 in 2016 to a career-worst 39.5 in 2017.

Of all Major League starters with at least 160 innings, that was the worst rate.

Of course, that metric isn’t everything, as Robbie Ray led the league with a 40.4 percentage. Still, it’s worth noting that Zimmermann also had the second-lowest soft-contact percentage in the league among starters with 160 innings.

Yeah, not a great mix there.

Outside the organization?

The Detroit Tigers second starting pitcher behind Michael Fulmer in the rotation may end up being an addition from outside the organization.

Next: Fulmer probably won't be traded. That being said, few teams can make a strong offer

If the Tigers sign a veteran or two to add depth and Boyd, Norris and Zimmermann all struggle again, it wouldn’t be a shock to see a free agent signing finish the year as Detroit’s second best starter.

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