Detroit Tigers: Starting Pitching Rotation Projection 2.0
Last month, I released a Detroit Tigers Starting Pitching Rotation Projection 1.0 right before Spring Training started, and as it we close in on two weeks of spring training action down, the rotation seems to be taking form.
Yesterday, Jon recapped the lukewarm start by Michael Fulmer in the loss to Toronto. In the spring in 4 innings of work, he has allowed six hits, seven runs and has given up three home runs. Now Fulmer may be working on feeling out his secondary pitches. Pitchers generally use spring training to work on their pitch mix and see what works. The start before that, he did toss two scoreless innings.
There are two weeks left in spring training folks so I will refrain from a total freakout from yesterday but still, keep that start in your back of your mind.
Let’s review the possible Detroit Tigers rotation on Opening Day on April 1st.
1. Matthew Boyd
ZiPS projections: 11-11 4.55 ERA FIP 4.29 K/9: 9.80 BB/9 2.68 fWAR 2.7
PECOTA projections: 9-8 3.86 ERA FIP 4.16 K/9: 9.38 BB/9 2.98
Boyd’s slider has looked good in spring so far minus the barrel home run by Jeff Mathis of the Phillies a few days back. Here’s how good his slider has looked.
It appears his release point has changed slightly.
Another element to throw into the projection machine. He is projected according to Steamer one of 21 starting pitchers to put up 170 innings and have a K% of 24+. Still, he will be experimenting as the spring goes on to throw his changeup more effectively because his fastball and slider are his to-go pitches. The problem is, his fastball has resulted in one of his higher barreled-up pitches the last two seasons.
2. Spencer Turnbull
ZiPS projections: 10-9 ERA 4.51 FIP 4.72 K/9 8.77 BB/9 3.68
PECOTA projections: 8-9 ERA 4.54 FIP 4.43 K/9 9.04 BB/9 4.25
Still sticking with Turnbull being the number two starter. He has not done anything to harm his chances in spring training.
3. Julio Teheran
ZiPS projections: 9-9 ERA 5.13 FIP 5.62 K/9 8.19 BB/9 4.06
PECOTA projections: 40.3 IP ERA 4.88 WHIP 1.42
I know what you are going to say, look at his stat line from today’s game against the Yankees but his slider looked sharp and his velocity is up from last year so far in spring training. The slider generated swings and misses. He provides a veteran presence to the staff and one of the only starters who has thrown at least 175 innings or more (he has done it six times). The low risk, high reward for Teheran was a reason why I thought back in December he would be a good addition to the rotation.
4. Tarik Skubal
ZiPS projections: 7-8 4.91 ERA 4.64 4.90 FIP K/9 9.74 B/9 3.60
PECOTA projections: 5-5 3.88 ERA 4.14 FIP K/9 10.66 B/9 3.31
When I wrote this back in early February, it was before I found out Skubal learned how to throw a splitter and he has shown it off in spring training and it looks legit.
Also, check out this spring training stat line:
5IP 2H 6K and an ERA 0.40. He looks locked in.
5. Michael Fulmer
This was a tough call as Urena looked good in 3 innings of work in today’s game against the Yankees. I even said this yesterday in our Slack channel that Urena could be the long relief right-hander out of the bullpen.
As much as people want Fulmer out of the rotation, he has a few weeks to make his case. He has earned that right and I don’t see Detroit just throwing the towel on his role in the rotation. Tyler Alexander, Daniel Norris are your long man out of the bullpen and both are lefties and can spot start if needed.
Give us your rotation projections in the comments section below.