Detroit Tigers: 3 players who could represent team at the All-Star game

DENVER, COLORADO - JULY 13: American League All-Star Gregory Soto #65 of the Detroit Tigers delivers a pitch against the National League team during the 91st MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard at Coors Field on July 13, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matt Dirksen/Colorado Rockies/Getty Images)
DENVER, COLORADO - JULY 13: American League All-Star Gregory Soto #65 of the Detroit Tigers delivers a pitch against the National League team during the 91st MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard at Coors Field on July 13, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matt Dirksen/Colorado Rockies/Getty Images) /
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LHP Tarik Skubal

Detroit Tigers' pitcher Tarik Skubal, #29
DETROIT, MI – JUNE 12: Tarik Skubal #29 of the Detroit Tigers pitches against the Toronto Blue Jays during the third inning at Comerica Park on June 12, 2022, in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /

This is the most likely candidate. Skubal has not only pitched his way into All-Star status, he’s also pitched his way into ace status as well as some potential Cy Young Award talk.

Skubal ranks seventh in the American League in ERA, second in FIP, eighth in strikeouts per nine, fifth in K/BB ratio, and ninth in pitching WAR. The keys for Skubal this year have been the further development of his secondary pitches and limiting the hard contact.

His slider has been dominant this year, as he’s been throwing it much more often. He’s thrown it over 30% of the time in 2022 per Fangraphs. His curveball usage has increased ever so slightly as well. He’s done a much better job of mixing his pitches.

This had led to an increase in weak contact and groundballs. His groundball rate this season is 45.9%, well above 2021’s 38.5%. There’s no question the Detroit Tigers have found their ace.

One question many Tigers fans may have is whether he’ll get the chance to start the game. Sadly, that seems unlikely. As good as Skubal has been, there are many starting pitchers in the AL that have been even better, such as New York’s Nestor Cortes, Toronto’s Alek Manoah, Tampa Bay’s Shane McClanahan, and former Tiger Justin Verlander just to name a few.

However, if he keeps this up, he’ll have plenty of opportunities to start the All-Star game. At just 25 years old, we’ll be having this conversation about Tarik Skubal for years to come.