Detroit Tigers desperately need bullpen stability in 2018

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 30: Andrew Romine #17 of the Detroit Tigers is congratulated by teammate Shane Greene #61 after getting Zack Granite #8 of the Minnesota Twins out to end their baseball game on September 30, 2017, at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota.(Photo by Andy King/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 30: Andrew Romine #17 of the Detroit Tigers is congratulated by teammate Shane Greene #61 after getting Zack Granite #8 of the Minnesota Twins out to end their baseball game on September 30, 2017, at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota.(Photo by Andy King/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Tigers
DETROIT, MI – SEPTEMBER 20: Joe Jimenez #77 of the Detroit Tigers pitches against the Oakland Athletics during the eighth inning at Comerica Park on September 20, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /

Detroit Tigers relief pitchers will need to make progress on the field during the 2018 season in order for the franchise’s rebuild to pick up some steam.

Detroit Tigers fans have seen what happens to bullpens when there aren’t defined roles.

During the second half of the 2015 season, Detroit was reeling from the mid-season trades of David Price and Yoenis Cespedes.

The deals netted the team a handful of prospects, including Michael Fulmer, Daniel Norris, Matthew Boyd and Jairo Labourt.

However, the moves sunk Detroit from a record standpoint, as the Tigers ended with a 74-87 tally in the final standings.

The bullpen was also in shambles in the second half. Joakim Soria was also traded at the deadline, while veteran right-hander Joba Chamberlain was cut in mid-July.

That left a bullpen headlined by Alex Wilson, Blaine Hardy, Al Alburquerque and Ian Krol.

While the group struggled, there was no real structure or roles in the relief corps. This started with the closer’s role and trickled down.

During the second half of that season, Bruce Rondon notched five saves, Neftali Feliz had four, while Wilson posted two.

All told, Detroit used 17 pitchers in the second half. Over that span, the Tigers’ bullpen posted the 27th-worst fWAR, the third-highest FIP and the highest SIERA in the league.

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