Detroit Tigers: As it stands, Ryan Carpenter should be front runner for fifth rotation spot

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DETROIT, MI - JUNE 28: A wide view of Comerica Park during a MLB game between the Detroit Tigers and the Chicago White Sox on June 28, 2015 in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers win on a walk off home run 5-4. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - JUNE 28: A wide view of Comerica Park during a MLB game between the Detroit Tigers and the Chicago White Sox on June 28, 2015 in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers win on a walk off home run 5-4. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Tigers
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – SEPTEMBER 30: Buck Farmer #45 of the Detroit Tigers listens to Rich Dubee pitching coach for the Detroit Tigers and Bryan Holaday #50 of the Detroit Tigers after Farmer walked in a run for the Minnesota Twins in the first inning during of their baseball game on September 30, 2017, at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota.(Photo by Andy King/Getty Images) /

The rest

Of the bunch, Farmer showed the most promising flashes of brilliance, but he also struggled mightily at times.

Shutout outings against the White Sox and Angels that netted a combined 16 strikeouts against a cumulative six hits and three walks allowed were offset by outings against the A’s (2.2 innings pitched, six hits, five runs, four earned runs and a home run allowed), Diamondbacks (2.1 innings pitched, nine hits, six earned runs and two home runs allowed) and Rays (2.1 innings pitched, five hits, seven earned runs, three home runs and a walk allowed) that left plenty to be desired.

Elsewhere, Bell made four starts down the stretch. However, he was tagged for 5.28 walks and 2.35 home runs per nine innings during that span.

There was also Lewicki, who made just one start late in 2017 before being limited to a trio of relief outings despite the lack of stability in the rotation.

Rounding out the group is Saupold who soaked up 62.2 frames in 45 innings for the Tigers as a reliever last season.

While his FIP and xFIP both hovered in the mid fives at 5.39 and 5.57 respectively, the right-hander was effective in 40.1 innings spread across seven starts for Triple-A Toledo in 2017.

During that span, he worked to a 2.90 ERA, a 3.68 FIP, a 4.23 xFIP and 7.36 strikeouts per nine frames. However, he also walked 3.79 batters per nine innings.

The prospects

It’s possible that by the end of the 2018 season, prospects like Franklin Perez, Grayson Long, Spencer Turnbull, Matt Hall, Tyler Alexander or Beau Burrows could be in the Majors and ready to step into the rotation.

Next: The Tigers should sign Jose Miguel Fernandez

However, until then, Ryan Carpenter looks like the best bet to step into the Detroit Tigers rotation and start games on a consistent basis.

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