With Opening Day a week away, for which I still have not received my tickets, it’s time to start looking at what April will bring for the Tigers. Viva El Birdo’s did a good job summing up the rotation for the St. Louis Cardinals so in that same vein we’ll take a look at the Tigers rotation.
The Tigers were one of few teams to name their starting rotation early on March 17th and many teams have yet to do so still. Leyland gave Jeremy Bonderman the honor of starting on Opening Day and it is well deserved. Behind him will be the rest of the starting rotation from 2006.
- Jeremy Bonderman (RHP)
- Kenny Rogers (LHP)
- Justin Verlander (RHP)
- Nate Robertson (LHP)
- Mike Maroth (LHP)
Pretty nice eh? So how does this break up throughout April?
|Jeremy Bonderman||Blue Jays||Royals||Blue Jays||Royals||Angels||Twins|
|Kenny Rogers||Blue Jays||Orioles||Blue Jays||White Sox||White Sox||Orioles|
|Justin Verlander||Blue Jays||Orioles||Blue Jays||White Sox||White Sox|
|Nate Robertson||Royals||Orioles||Royals||White Sox||Twins|
|Mike Maroth||Royals||Blue Jays||Royals||Angels||Twins|
April also includes one of the weirdest stretches of the entire season from April 22nd through April 25th. The Tigers start off at home playing the White Sox they then travel, without a day off, to the west coast to play the Angels for two games, then they fly to Chicago, again without a day off, to play the White Sox again. Are you kidding me?
Ok, back to the pitchers, I won’t go into all the leverage calculations that El Birdo’s did but take a look back at each pitchers success in 2006 against each of these teams. Many of the teams, particularly in the American League Central have pretty much in-tact lineups so the difference possibly won’t be too great. Keep reading to find out!
Jeremy Bonderman pitched very strong against the Blue Jays in 2006. Over two games, each of which he saw a full six innings, he gave up only 9 hits and 3 runs leaving with a 1.50 ERA.
The Royals he saw five times last year and will see twice again in April. He pitched alright against them with a 3.41 ERA but with a total of 30 strikeouts and 8 walks.
Jeremy saw the Angels once in 2006 giving up two runs but on only 3 hits, again getting 6 strikeouts over 6 innings.
The Twins in ’06 was where we saw one of Jeremy’s real breakdowns in late innings. He had is fourth worst ERA against the Twins in ’06 with 5.33.
Kenny saw Toronto only once in 2006 and it was a very short outing of 3.2 innings in which he gave up 8 hits, 7 runs (5 earned). Kenny had his worst team ERA against Toronto of 12.27. He’ll get a couple shots right out of the gate in ’07 pitching against them twice.
Kenny had his best team ERA against the White Sox in 2006 of 0.82 over 5 games played. Impressive.
Kenny did not face Baltimore in 2006.
Justin did not face the Blue Jays in 2006.
Verlander faced Baltimore a single time giving up 7 hits in 6.1 innings and 3 runs.
The White Sox were not good to Verlander in ’06. Besides the tipping incident, he gave up many huge hits to them; Chicago had a SLG .679. Yow! Verlander had a couple good outings though in the 5 times he faced them and overall gave up 38 hits in 25.1 innings pitched and 23 runs leaving him with an ERA of 7.82.
Verlander’s outlook through April is probobly the most unknown especially coming off of a shaky Spring Training and questions of his ability to pitch after so many innings in ’06.
Amazingly Robertson never faced the Royals in ’06. Wow, I still cannot believe it.
He did see Baltimore thrice and did very well against them. He gave up 17 hits and 6 runs (4 earned) over 19.1 innings with an ERA of 1.86. He did give up quite a few walks as well @ 11 to match 11 strikeouts.
Robertson saw Chicago four times in ’06 and like many of the other Tigers (outside of Rogers) he struggled. Over 26.2 innings he gave up 29 hits and 21 runs leaving with an ERA of 6.75. He also allowed 7 homeruns.
Nate pitched well against the Twins in ’06, whom he saw on 5 occasions. He had an ERA of 3.38 against them over 32 innings pitched.
I won’t really go over Maroth’s ’06 season as it was pretty much non-existent past April. Maroth has been inconsistent this spring through with a couple of good outings and a couple of outings where he’s gotten rocked. If he can find his form from early last year he’ll be strong otherwise we are likely to see some of the same stuff we’ve seen this spring.
Bring on April 2nd! The weather forecast is currently calling for no rain and a high of 53. I hope they are correct on this one!