Detroit Tigers: Who should get the final bullpen spot?
With less than a week until the Detroit Tigers open up the 2018 season, two pitchers are battling for the final spot in the bullpen.
The Detroit Tigers saw quite a few pieces of last year’s bullpen depart this offseason. Gone is 2017 closer Justin Wilson, who was dealt at the trade deadline. Gone too is Bruce Rondon, Detroit’s alleged closer of the future who never found his footing in the Motor City. Myles Jaye and Anibal Sanchez, both of whom spent time in the bullpen last year, are gone as well.
However, 2018’s bullpen is shaping up to have a lot of familiar faces in it. Despite multiple minor league free agent signees, only one newcomer appears to be battling for a spot in Detroit’s bullpen in 2018.
Shane Greene, Alex Wilson, Daniel Stumpf, Drew VerHagen and Joe Jimenez are all considered locks to start 2018 in the bullpen.
Buck Farmer, who is out of options, is likely going to start the season out as the team’s long reliever. With Ron Gardenhire announcing that the team is planning to have 12 pitchers and 13 hitters on the roster, that leaves one bullpen spot remaining.
The Tigers re-assigned both Chad Bell and Blaine Hardy to Triple-A Toledo. While both are expected to spend time with the Tigers at some point this season, that leaves two pitchers competing for the final bullpen spot: Warwick Saupold and Johnny Barbato.