Detroit Tigers fans are all too familiar with Tomlin, who has thrown nearly 900 innings with the Indians since 2010. Tomlin has pitched primarily out of the bullpen this season, but started 55 games between 2016-2017. He posted a 4.66 ERA (4.54 FIP) in those two seasons, with a 1.22 WHIP and a 6.5 K/9. He is a control master, only walking 34 batters in those two seasons combined, good for a 1.0 BB/9.
Tomlin was squeezed from Cleveland’s rotation in 2018, and has not had the same level of success in the bullpen. He currently sports a 6.49 ERA (7.62 FIP) with a 5.58 K/9 and a 1.66 BB/9. Obviously those numbers are less than ideal, but Tomlin has the pedigree of a former back of the rotation starter, and a change of scenery and a low pressure role could help him return to those ways in Detroit.
Tomlin has a four-pitch mix, with a four-seam fastball, a cutter, a curveball and a changeup. Tomlin’s curveball is his money pitch, with a career .193 BAA. Tomlin is likely the most affordable of the three options listed, although he is the least likely to recoup trade value at the deadline.
However, if the free agent market blows up, the Tigers should still grab Tomlin to get some extra SP depth. It’s a low-risk, medium-reward endeavor for a team that has little to lose heading into 2019.
The Detroit Tigers are gearing up for what projects to be a fairly lengthy rebuild. Adding veteran starting pitching and flipping them at the deadline for more prospects is a good way to speed that process up. Let’s hope Detroit can do that again next year.