Detroit Tigers History

Detroit Tigers: 1990’s All-Decade Team

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OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 25: Alan Trammell #3 of the Detroit Tigers fields the ball during the game against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland-Alameda Coliseum on June 25, 1996 in Oakland, California. The Tigers defeated the A's 10-8. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 25: Alan Trammell #3 of the Detroit Tigers fields the ball during the game against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland-Alameda Coliseum on June 25, 1996 in Oakland, California. The Tigers defeated the A's 10-8. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) /
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KANSAS CITY, MO – SEPTEMBER 27: A baseball sits on the field before the game between the Detroit Tigers and the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on September 27, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Brian Davidson/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO – SEPTEMBER 27: A baseball sits on the field before the game between the Detroit Tigers and the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on September 27, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Brian Davidson/Getty Images) /

Some teams have periods where their bullpen is bad, followed by periods of solid, or even great, bullpen performances. The Tigers seem to have been born into a crappy bullpen, molded by blown saves and ballooned ERA’s.

The 1990’s were no different, as the Tigers saw a cavalcade of bad relievers on the hill in the Motor City for the decade. Here are the six best of the bunch.

LOOGY – Sean Runyan

Runyan led the league in appearances in 1998 with 88, but only threw 50.1 innings. A true LOOGY, he had a 3.54 ERA and a 135 ERA+ for the Tigers from 1998-1999.

Middle – Jerry Don Gleaton

A fellow left-hander, Don Gleaton had a solid season in 1990 (2.94 ERA, 137 ERA+) followed by an average season in 1991 (4.06 ERA, 104 ERA+). That is enough for him to crack the All-1990’s bullpen with a 3.47 ERA in 158 innings.

Middle – Storm Davis

Storm Davis finished out his 13-year career with two seasons in the Motor City. Across 83.1 innings, Davis had a 3.35 ERA and a 139 ERA+ with four saves for the Tigers.

Set-Up – Doug Brocail

Brocail has an argument as the best Tigers reliever of the 1990’s. The right-hander threw 222.2 innings with the team between 1997-1999. He went 12-10 with a 2.83 ERA and a blistering 163 ERA+. He also posted a solid 1.16 WHIP and a 7.8 K/9. Brocail was at his best in the Motor City, although he pitched all the way until age 42 with the Houston Astros in 2009.

Set-Up – Todd Jones

Todd Jones’ 235 saves are the most in Detroit Tigers franchise history. He racked up 89 of them in the 1990’s along with a 3.92 ERA and a 121 ERA+. He played for seven different teams between 2001-2005 before finishing his career out with three seasons and 93 saves for the Tigers from 2006-2008.

Closer – Mike Henneman

Henneman has a case for the best reliever in Tigers history, throwing 669.2 innings of 3.05 ball with 154 saves and a 136 ERA+. He was at the tail end of his career in the 1990’s, but still posted a 3.33 ERA with a 126 ERA+ and 99 saves from 1990-1994. He had 18 saves and a 1.53 ERA in 1995 before getting traded to the Houston Astros for Phil Nevin.

Next: 2006 Tigers: Where are they now?

So there you have it – the Detroit Tiger’s 1990’s All-Decade Team. It wouldn’t hold a candle to the teams of the 1980’s or even the 2000’s, but there was still plenty of talent to go around in the offense-heavy era of the 90’s.

As always, we welcome your feedback. Think there’s someone we missed? Would you order the lineup differently? Let us know!

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