With the season drawing to a close, we are going to provide year-end grades to each Detroit Tigers player who donned the Olde English D in 2018.
The Detroit Tigers have nearly completed the first year of what looks to be a multi-year rebuilding process. While the team was hard to watch at times, there is still plenty to evaluate from this season as we look ahead to the next few years.
As with any team, there were a lot of excellent performances, surprise performances, and of course disappointing performances. Here at Motor City Bengals, we are going to be evaluating each player who suited up for the Detroit Tigers this season. We will analyze how they performed, what their future holds in the Motor City, and we will provide them a grade.
Note: the grade will be relative to what was expected of them. So a player who performed well above expectations may earn a B or an A, even if their actual season numbers are not that elite. If you disagree, feel free to drop us a comment. We would love to have discussions about these!
We have now graded most of Detroit’s starting rotation: Jordan Zimmermann (here) and Michael Fulmer (here) and Francisco Liriano (here). Next up is Detroit’s team leader in starts and innings pitched this season, left-hander Matthew Boyd.
Boyd has a great argument for being Detroit’s best starting pitcher this season. In addition to throwing the most innings and making the most starts, his 8.4 K/9 and 1.15 WHIP topped all the starters, and his 100 ERA+ was better than all of them not named Mike Fiers.
Boyd finished the season with a 4.39 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP in 170.1 innings. He faded a bit down the stretch, and his last two starts unfortunately ballooned his ERA to its final mark. His ERA had not been that high since July. If you take out his final two appearances, he finished with a 4.08 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP.
Boyd began the season on fire, with a 3.00 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP through his first ten starts. Although he faded, he was still a super reliable arm for the Tigers, posting 14 quality starts.
He has one of the most secure spots next season, as he will no doubt be a part of Detroit’s rotation again in 2019.
Boyd had one of the better seasons by a Tigers player this year, breaking nearly every one of his personal career-highs and leading the Tigers in most starting pitching metrics. It was a true breakout for the 27-year-old, who will hopefully continue to have success down the line.