With the 2018 season coming to a close, we are providing year-end grades to each Detroit Tigers player who donned the Olde English D in 2018.
The Detroit Tigers 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!
The Detroit Tigers, unsurprisingly, did not have a good bullpen last season. While they got solid performances from Joe Jimenez (graded here) Shane Greene (here) and Louis Coleman (here), most of the guys disappointed. That included their primary LOOGY in Daniel Stumpf.
Stumpf was selected in the Rule 5 draft ahead of the 2017 season. He slotted in as Detroit’s primary LOOGY, holding lefties to a .213 average and posting a 3.82 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP. He wasn’t elite, but he got the job done.
2018 was expected to be more of the same. However, Stumpf struggled to keep runners off the bases, surrendering a 4.93 ERA and a 1.57 WHIP. Some of that was bad luck, as Stumpf’s 4.18 FIP was actually better than his 4.49 FIP from last season. He did improve on his strikeout totals, fanning 8.69 per nine – compared to 7.88 last season.
Still, it’s disheartening to see your LOOGY struggle to get left-handers out, especially when he gets torched by right-handers, who hit .321/.398/.545 off him this last season.
No one was expecting Stumpf to become an elite late-inning arm, but man he was rough to watch this season. With Blaine Hardy, Daniel Norris and Matt Hall all coming back, it’s possible one of them steps into a LOOGY role and challenges Stumpf for his roster spot.