Sunday, March 26, 2006

Detroit Tiger Preview - Part 4 (Pitching)

Today, I’ll present the final part of my series of posts previewing the 2006 season. The first three posts are here:


In Part 4, I’ll forecast the pitching and give my prediction for the team win total.



The Tigers had a 4.51 ERA in 2005, good enough for 8th in the league. Kenny Rogers and Todd Jones should make up for the losses of Jason Johnson, Kyle Farnsworth and Ugueth Urbina but they probably won’t be enough to significantly improve the overall pitching. In order for there to be a substantial improvement in their team pitching results this year, I believe they would need dramatic development of their young pitchers. I do expect some improvement by Jeremy Bonderman but I think Justin Verlander and Joel are not quite ready to break out in 2006. It may be a different story in 2007 or 2008. I also am concerned that they don’t have quite enough talent in the bullpen and that may hurt.



In think most of the improvement in 2006 will come from the offense. That could fall apart too if the injuries pile up too much but I’m going to be optimistic and say that they’ll be a little healthier than last year. As for the predicted team win total…again I’ll be optimistic and predict that they will finish .500 for the first time since 1993. Exactly .500. 81 wins. More importantly, I think their future looks brighter than that.


Now for the individual pitcher forecast:


Starters


Kenny Rogers


Rogers had one of his best years last year at the age of 40 in one of the best hitting parks in the majors. I don’t expect a repeat this year but Comerica Park should help him. He should do a little better than Jason Johnson.


Year

IP

ERA

HR

BB

SO

2005

195

3.46

15

53

87

2006 Projected

186

4.25

18

48

81


Jeremy Bonderman


Bonderman pitched better than his ERA last year. He had a season ending elbow injury last year which still concerns me a little but he seems to be ok so far this spring. I think he’ll reach 200 innings for the first time and get his ERA down close to 4.00.


Year

IP

ERA

HR

BB

SO

2005

189

4.57

21

57

145

2006 Projected

210

4.05

24

64

183


Nate Robertson


Robertson faded in the second half of 2005 after a good first half for the second straight year. He also had a drop in velocity which could mean an injury or could just be the result of former pitching coach Bob Cluck’s “pitch to contact” philosophy. I’ll assume the latter and look for Robertson to have similar overall numbers this year.


Year

IP

ERA

HR

BB

SO

2005

197

4.48

28

65

122

2006 Projected

185

4.60

25

62

127


Mike Maroth


Maroth will continue to pile up innings and get hit fairly hard in the process. He will also have good enough control to keep his ERA fairly close to league average.


Year

IP

ERA

HR

BB

SO

2005

209

4.74

30

51

115

2006 Projected

205

4.65

29

46

100


Justin Verlander


I’m excited about Verlander but realistically you have to expect some growing pains this year. He’ll pitch some great games and get shelled a number of times as well. He should improve as the season progresses.


Year

IP

ERA

HR

BB

SO

2005

11

7.15

1

5

7

2006 Projected

165

5.05

16

70

140



Relievers


Todd Jones


Jones had perhaps his best year last year at the age of 37 but that was an aberration from his other recent years. I think he’ll be back on the roller coaster again this year. He’ll be one of those relievers who gets a lot of saves but also blows a lot of saves and catches more abuse from fans than he should.


Year

IP

ERA

HR

BB

SO

2005

73

2.10

2

14

62

2006 Projected

70

3.86

6

31

58


Fernando Rodney


Rodney will set up Jones and should be OK in that role. He will get the first shot at closing if Jones blows up. I think he’s more suited to setting up though.


Year

IP

ERA

HR

BB

SO

2005

44

2.86

5

17

42

2006 Projected

64

3.52

5

29

63


Jamie Walker


Walker will be the lefty specialist again this year. Fans will curse his gopher balls but he should have another decent year.


Year

IP

ERA

HR

BB

SO

2005

49

3.70

5

13

30

2006 Projected

56

3.86

6

17

44


Chris Spurling


Spurling quietly pitched 70 innings with pretty good results last year. He should continue to be a capable middle reliever in 2006.


Year

IP

ERA

HR

BB

SO

2005

71

3.44

8

22

26

2006 Projected

75

4.05

9

22

35

Joel Zumaya


Like Verlander, Zumaya will probably have his ups and downs this year. He’ll be a long reliever but may get some spot starts later in the year. The final numbers might not be too pretty but he will be dominant at times and exciting to watch.


Year

IP

ERA

HR

BB

SO

2005

---

---

---

---

---

2006 Projected

80

4.75

10

41

88


Roman Colon


Colon will also be a long reliever and spot starter. He might be the first one to step into the rotation if someone gets injured.



Year

IP

ERA

HR

BB

SO

2005

69

5.58

17

21

47

2006 Projected

95

4.97

18

38

63


Bobby Seay


Jim Leyland wants a second left-hander in the bullpen and Bobby Seay could be the man. He pitched OK in brief stints with Tampa Bay and may be useful in a limited role.


Year

IP

ERA

HR

BB

SO

2005

12

8.49

3

8

11

2006 Projected

50

4.35

7

24

42

6 comments:

  1. I predicted 83 wins.

    I hope Rogers and Jones don't fall apart this year. Odds are good that one or both will both decline this year. I also think this could be the last decent season each has. At least next year, we'll be in a little better shape if they fall apart. We definitely need them to be stable this season.

    I do think Bondy will have a good season, but there could be a bit of wishful thinking there. I really hope he puts together a healthy and consistent season. With Rogers joining the rotation, there's a little less pressure on Bondo to be an "ace", although he'll approach each start as though he's working toward that goal. With Verlander joining the rotation, there will be more attention paid to him than Jeremy, which might be a bit of a relief for JB. What I mean to say is that Bondo will finally be able to go out and pitch without any extra burden on his shoulders.

    I'll be happy when the days of Maroth and Robertson have passed us by. I really don't have a lot of confidence that either is going to get much better than he already is, although Robertson might post some better numbers than he did last year. Each of these guys strike me as stop-gaps until better guys develop and take those slots. Perhaps those guys are already here?

    I'm excited about both Verlander and Zumaya making the team. I think I made a comment about that in another blog here. It's going to be a big relief if the farm system has truly produced two quality pitchers for us.

    It'll be interesting to see who grabs those last bullpen slots. I have a feeling that both Grilli and Colon will make it. I wonder if we're better off sending Colon to Toledo where he can start on a regular basis. I've read that he functions better as a starter because he can use all of his pitches, but hasn't really gotten that opportunity outside of just a handful of starts. With Grilli in the pen, we've got our spot starter in place if we need him.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I agree with starting Colon in the minors and sticking with Grilli for long relief.
    In your post you show Verlander having an ERA of 2.05 is this right??? That would be an amazing first year, something to get very excited about. I noticed you didn't put down win totals for the individual pitchers, is this something you could do?
    Also...if German does not make the team, and since Pena has already been released shouldn't we start dissecting the Weaver for Bonderman trade? Was it really worth it?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oops, 2.05 would be some wishful thinking! I meant to write down 5.05 for Verlander. I think he'll be dominant at times and really bad at times. It will be a learning year for him.

    I didn't include win totals because I consider that to be a team statistic rather than an individual statistic. I'll give it a shot though:

    Bonderman 16
    Rogers 14
    Maroth 12
    Robertson 11
    Verlander 9
    Spot starters 5
    bullpen 14

    ReplyDelete
  4. If you look at total win shares since the trade was made, Pena and Bonderman combined are ahead of Weaver. I honestly feel as if they have done more to help the team win than Weaver has done to help his teams win. So looking back, I think the Tigers have won the trade so far.

    That's not necessarily the best way to look at it though. The main goal of course, is to get into the playoffs and Pena can't help them do that anymore. Looking ahead, it will come to who does better: Weaver or Bonderman. I still like Bonderman better for the future but only time will tell.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Also, Pena and Bonderman are two players, to Weaver's one. A way of being more fair to Weaver would be considering Pena/Bonderman vs. Weaver/whoever would've played first. That's probably Eric Munson.... I suppose one would have to either translate his minor league numbers or determine what might've been expected had he stayed in Detroit.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Surprisingly, Pena has actually accumulated more win shares than Weaver all by himself. Of course, it's harder to find league average innings eating pitchers than first basemen. Still, while Pena has been a disappointment, I think he accomplished more than people give him credit for.

    ReplyDelete

Sabermetrics Book

Sabermetrics Book
One of Baseball America's top ten books of 2010

Blog Archive

Subscribe

501 Baseball Books

501 Baseball Books
Recommended by Tiger Tales

Stat Counter

Site Meter