Detroit Tigers: 3 biggest offseason needs based on the playoffs
2. The Detroit Tigers need a workhorse starter, or two
There is a lot of talk lately about how the starting pitcher as we know it is dying, but in reality, it’s just evolving. Yes, starters are going less and managers are trying to limit their exposure the third time through an order–a strategy that only gets amplified in the playoffs where off days are more aplenty and leashes can be a bit shorter.
Nevertheless, having healthy and consistent starting pitching is a vital ingredient to playoff baseball. The Detroit Tigers didn’t have a starting pitcher go more than 21 starts this season, led by Tarik Skubal, who was shut down to end his season. By comparison, each playoff team had at least three of their starters start more than 21 games in 2022.
Certainly, there is an element of luck (or lack thereof) to accomplishing this next season. One or two of their starters could easily eclipse that number in-house (Spencer Turnbull and Eduardo Rodriguez immediately come to mind). That said, it is fair to wonder if they should be banked on for such durability given their history (although Rodriguez would have eclipsed this number had it not been for his personal matter that left him on leave).
The art of the 200-inning arm is largely dead, but having three pitchers that can be penciled in every fifth day is no doubt still an imperative ingredient to achieving playoff baseball in 2023.