Detroit Tigers Pitchers
We all know what I think about Justin Verlander, who is signed with the Astros but will be a free agent in 2022. Over his sixteen-year career, Verlander has struck out 3013 batters, has a 3.33 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, and has a lengthy scroll of accomplishments ranging from MVP, 2x Cy Young, Rookie of the Year, 8x All-Star, 2017 World Series winner, and ALCS MVP. Not to mention, he’s tossed three no-hitters, two of which were against the Toronto Blue Jays. He is the best of the best, no questions asked.
Unsigned Free Agent
I’ve had conversations with a few people where we often sit and wonder, “whatever happened to Rick Porcello?” Original Tigers Twitter knows we were blessed with the “Mundane Porcello” Twitter account, but 2014 was one of Porcello’s better years as he ended the season with a 3.43 ERA in 32 games pitched, tallying three shutouts. Post-Tigers, Porcello won a World Series in 2018 with the Red Sox alongside Ian Kinsler, J.D. Martinez, and David Price and went on to secure a Cy Young title. Kate Upton would like to have words.
Toronto Blue Jays
Robbie Ray obviously picked up some of the habits of Verlander, because the man walks up to the mound in a Blue Jays jersey with his pants painted on. The main difference between now and 2014 is that Ray put up an 8.16 ERA in nine mound appearances, whereas he’s been shutting batters down in 2021. Currently, Ray has a 2.69 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and is making it an interesting race for AL Cy Young candidate.
Los Angeles Dodgers
David Price is an important piece of Tigers history for a few reasons, but one that stands out is when the Tigers acquired him in a three-man trade, sending Drew Smyly and Willy Adames to the Tampa Bay Rays and Austin Jackson to Seattle. Bolstering the rotation, Price ended 2014 with a 3.59 ERA and was offered up as a trade piece to the Toronto Blue Jays to acquire Matthew Boyd and Daniel Norris. Price joined fellow teammates Kinsler, Martinez, and Porcello to win the World Series in 2018.
Hang onto your hats, kids.
Los Angeles Dodgers
I will go on record in saying that Mad Max is my all-time favorite baseball player. A 3x Cy Young winner, 8x All-Star, and 2019 World Series champion, Scherzer is a bulldog on the mound mowing players down with ease. He has a career of 3003 strikeouts, 2.17 ERA on the season, and is in line to secure the NL Cy Young with the stellar year he has had.
That’s where many of the notable 2014 Tigers have ended up, but let me put one thing into perspective for you. Of the starting pitching rotation, Verlander was the “worst” one tallying a 4.54 ERA on the season, with Scherzer coming out on top at 3.15.
I have one thing left to say.
How the heck did we not win a World Series title with this star-studded lineup?
What it truly comes down to is that we have been truly fortunate to witness baseball greats play for the Detroit Tigers.
Bless you, boys.