The Inconsistent Bullpen
Okay, this one is difficult to analyze, because the Detroit Tigers’ bullpen has been everything from dominant to horrible throughout the year. Regardless of their output, they make the game interesting. Some nights, fans see utter dominance, and others we see a Triple-A team. There is no telling what level of success the bullpen will have on any given evening. During the recent seven-game winning streak, the bullpen held its opponents close with an ERA hovering around 1.00 and looked the part of a dominant bunch. Kyle Funkhouser was playing the role of a dominant middle-innings reliever, Jose Cisnero would shut down opponents in the 8th inning, and Gregory Soto would slam the door in the 9th.
The Tigers were getting contributions from everyone, even Daniel Norris, Derek Holland, and Joe Jimenez. Tyler Alexander came in and tossed a couple of quality spot starts for the club when he moved to a starting role. Unfortunately, not everything has been this smooth for the bullpen, as they hold the worst bullpen ERA in the American League at 5.11, and always seem to be in sticky situations. After the win streak, the bullpen has recently fallen apart yet again, culminating in a disastrous performance from Gregory Soto against the Twins. Once again, the level of consistency has not been there for the Detroit Tigers bullpen.
If the Tigers want to compete in the near future, they will need to shore up their relievers, but for the time being, they make every game interesting, although it is typically out of frustration.
For a reference of the Tigers dominant bullpen: