(Photo credit: Julian H. Gonzalez, Detroit Free Press)
In a recent post, I gave 10 predictions for Tigers batters. Now, I'll do the same for the pitchers:
- David Price will establish himself as the ace of the Tigers staff with 230 innings pitched, 250 strikeouts and 3.05 ERA. For those who still like pitcher wins as a statistic, I'll say 20.
- Anibal Sanchez will be healthy enough to pitch 180 innings, accumulate 190 punch outs and post a a 3.50 ERA.
- Justin Verlander will be better this year, but nowhere close to the old Cy Young version. I'll guess 200 IP, 8 k's per nine innings and a 3.65 ERA. He'll also be a prime target of criticism from fans and media.
- Shane Green will start out strong and then tire posting a 4.50 ERA in 150 innings.
- Alfredo Simon will struggle with consistency in his return to the American League registering a 4.60 ERA in 165 innings.
- Kyle Lobstein will make 12 appearances starts as the Tigers 6th starter and put up a respectable 4.20 ERA.
- Joe Nathan will open as the closer, but will be released in May after three blow saves. Joakim Soria will take over as the ninth inning guy and stabilize the bullpen with only two blown saves the rest of the way.
- Joba Chamberlain will be awful and Bruce Rondon will battle health and control issues. Al Aburquerque will work his way into the set up role for a while with 70 K in 55 innings but will still struggle with control. The good news is that this will force the Tigers to make a significant addition before the trade deadline. Or maybe not good news if you don't want to see the Tigers trade away yet more prospects.
- Every bullpen has some booms and busts. We've covered the disappointments. One of the surprises will be Angel Nesbitt who will be impressive in middle relief.
- The entire staff will allow 690 runs. That coupled with 770 runs scored will give the Tigers 89 wins and another Central Division title.