Yesterday, skipper Ron Gardenhire announced that veteran Francisco Liriano will be in the starting lineup this season. Assuming he’s healthy of course.
“With Liriano, I don’t know if he’s fighting with anybody,” manager Ron Gardenhire said after the game. “We brought him here for a reason. Hopefully he will be in our rotation. We need his veteran experience in that rotation.
“If he’s healthy and well, I am sure that’s where he will be.”
When the Tigers brought in Liriano, many assumed he’d be competing for a job in the starting rotation. Given that he’s a veteran lefty, the Tigers think for now that’s enough to be a lock for a position in the starting rotation. It’ll be interesting to see what the Tigers do if he struggles. If he doesn’t, it’ll also be interesting to see if he can be traded for assets. How well he plays will ultimately determine if the Tigers can move him at all.
In the aftermath of the announcement, Max Bultman, of the Athletic, dissected the Tigers pitching situation as it stands now.
The big question is how this all pieces together on March 29. If you lock in Zimmermann because of his contract, you’re left with two spots between Fiers, Boyd and Norris, for the sake of analysis.
The general consensus is that Zimmerman is a lock for one of the other three starting rotation places. The reports I’ve read, including this one from Evan Woodbery, suggest that Norris is heading down to the Mudhens. To me, that seems the most likely, Boyd is out of minor league options and if he doesn’t make the 40-man roster he has to be placed on waivers. Where again it, the general consensus is that he’ll most certainly be claimed by another team. There is also the seemingly unlikely scenario that either Norris or Boyd is set to the pen. Though it seems unlikely that would happen.
(Top Photo: Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)