Detroit Tigers Need to Make Serious Changes in Pitiful Bullpen

By Connor Muldowney
Al Alburquerque
Getty Images

It seems like that time of the year when fans sit and complain about their favorite MLB teams and how and why they are struggling. The Detroit Tigers, however, are doing the opposite of struggling, sitting at 27-15 — the best record in baseball right now. So what is the problem? The bullpen, of course.

Over the years, the Tigers have struggled with trying to find adequate pieces to trust in the pen and none have ever really lived up to the expectations. Each offseason, Detroit adds new bullpen pieces and, most of the time, they fall flat.

Just how bad has Detroit’s bullpen been? Well, the team as a whole ranks fifth in the league with a 3.25 ERA, but the bullpen ranks 21st with a 4.17 mark.

It’s been a tough go of things for manager Brad Ausmus who has been dealing with the best and most well-rounded team in the bigs this season. Going to the bullpen when pitchers like Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer have very rare poor outings shouldn’t be as stressful as it has been.

Well, at least there’s Phil Coke, right? Wrong. The veteran reliever has been one of the worst and least reliable relievers in baseball this season, seemingly giving up a run every time he is handed the ball with a 7.43 ERA.

Al Alburquerque hasn’t been the same pitcher that he used to be, racking up an elevated 4.00 ERA.

Joba Chamberlain and closer Joe Nathan were both brought in for veteran leadership as well as top-level production out of the pen. How has that worked? How about a 3.20 and 4.08 ERA, respectively. Oh yeah, and Nathan has blown three saves in his first 18 appearances with the club — he had three blown saves all of 2013.

Let’s face it, Detroit, it’s time to upgrade your bullpen. Dave Dombrowski has been a genius with starting pitchers and offensive pieces, but now it’s time to complete the team.

This bullpen could hinder Detroit’s World Series hopes.

Connor Muldowney is the Content Associate for Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at

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