The Detroit Tigers Quietly Have One of the Better Rotations in the AL

By johnczech

At the start of the year, everyone knew how good Justin Verlander was. But it was the last four starers in the back end of Detroit Tigers rotation that brought questions.

Doug Fister was outstanding with the Tigers after the trade last year. Going 8-1 with a 1.79 ERA down the stretch. Max Scherzer showed glimpses of what he could be, but never showed any consistency. Rick Porcello had yet to find any kind of consistency since his rookie year. In the fifth spot the Tigers were turning to a rookie southpaw, named Drew Smyly to hold down the back end of the rotation.

If you take a look at each stater and what they have done this year, you will see the Tigers have one of the better rotations in the American League.

Justin Verlander: Nothing more really need to be said besides his name. Verlander is having another outstanding year. Although his wins/loss column does not reflect how good of year he is having. The Tigers’ ace currently leads the MLB in complete games, innings pitched and strike outs. He also is top three in the AL in ERA, and WHIP. The definition of an ace.

Max Scherzer: Scherzer got off to a rough start at the start of the year. Since June, it’s hard to find someone who has pitched better than Scherzer. Every month since May Scherzer has brought his ERA down (3.86 ERA in June, 3.62 ERA in July; 2.25 ERA in August). He has also been striking out batters at a pace better than anyone in the game of baseball (11.3 K/9), and is currently second in the MLB in strike outs behind temmate Justin Verlander. Scerhzer is one of the biggest reasons for how good the Tigers’ rotation has been.

Doug Fister: Fister has gone through some adversity this year. Having two separate stints on the DL. Yet, Fister has an ERA of 3.54, and is striking out nearly 3.5 hitters for every walk surrendered. When healthy, Fister is as good as number two as you can get. And with Scherzer and Verlander; provides a deadly one through three.

Anibal Sanchez: When the Tigers traded for Sanchez, they were hoping he would come over and eat some innings and have quality outings. Sanchez has had a few rough starts since putting on a Tigers’ uniform. Which explains his inflated 4.50 ERA. But over his last four starts, Sanchez has posted a 2.52 ERA and only allowed seven earned runs in his last 25 innings.

Rick Porcello: It’s been the same old story for Porcello. He’s had some great starts this year, but he’s had problems with finding consistency. His 4.58 ERA is not pretty, but Porcello has suffered a lot from his bad defense. His FIP is only 3.71. Meaning: If he had a better defense behind him, his numbers would not look so bad. Still, Porcello is still lacking consistency, but sometimes shows you he has the stuff to provide you a quality start every time on the mound.

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