Detroit is a major sports town in America and its’ fans are very knowledgeable and loyal. That has been the history of the city. Baseball have always been popular sport among the fans.
As it turned out, 2017 was a year that Tiger fans would to forget. The major reason for the disaster of a season was the pitching staff, which most people knew before the season started that it was mediocre to say the least. The Tigers were dead last of the thirty major league teams with an ERA of 5.36; dead last in the category of WHIP (walks allowed plus hits per inning) at 1.50. They gave up more runs (894) and hits (1,587) than any other team. They said good-bye to Justin Verlander, the long-time ace of the staff at the end of August. Verlander was one the pitchers that help those statistics from being worst.
What can be expected to change in 2018 is unclear at this point. One thing that is a good sign is that Michael Fulmer’s recovery from arm surgery is on track as he now becomes the ace of the staff. Most of last year’s staff returns that includes starters, Jordan Zimmerman, Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris. That leaves one spot in the rotation open. The Tigers payroll which is well above $100 million for 2018, makes it real tough for a team trying cut payroll.
Last season, the Tigers had 20 pitchers with ERAs above 5.00 and 16 with ERAs above 6.00. Many of whom will be on staff for 2018. The team feels that Boyd and Norris, who both had ERAs of 5.27 and 5.31, have enough talent to be better in 2018. GM Al Avila is hoping to add one or two big league arms to the staff without rushing any of the farm-system arms who most feel won’t be big-league ready until 2019. So with outlook bleak at best, it looks like the Tigers 2018 will be one that will land them the number one overall pick in draft in 2019. Hope the loyal Tigers fans are patient!