Fourth and Fifth Starter Spots A Concern, Not A Crisis
The key remains the health and prosperity of The Big Three in the starting rotation - Justin Verlander, Edwin Jackson and Rick Porcello. Mixing and matching the fourth and fifth spots often works.
Like in 2006 when the Tigers had Verlander, Kenny Rogers and Bonderman at the top of the rotation. Nate Robertson was a .500 pitcher, and they just kind filled out the fifth spot, often with Zach Miner.
In 1984, the Tigers had Jack Morris, Dan Petry and Milt Wilcox leading the rotation. The fourth starter was the inconsistent Juan Berenguer. The fifth starter was a weekly quiz. Dave Rozema, Randy O’Neal, Roger Mason, Carl Willis, Glenn Abbott and Doug Bair all started games for the ‘84 Tigers.
The ‘68 Tigers, it was Denny McLain and Mickey Lolich leading the way. Earl Wilson and Joe Sparma, the other starters in the four-man rotation of the era, didn’t have stellar seasons. They combined to go 23-22.
The Tigers like Brooks Brown, who is at Triple-A. My best guess he would take the fifth spot if they go to the minor leagues for it. I just wonder why the Tigers don’t give Nate Robertson a shot at it. He would be motivated. Miner is still there.
But to me, filling the fifth spot in the rotation isn’t as big a deal as getting stronger offensively - as long as the Tigers’ bullpen remains solid. It would be nice, too, from the Tigers’ standpoint if Armando Galarraga figures it out in the fourth spot
The disappointing part: The Tigers are paying Bonderman, Willis and Robertson more than $28 million combined this season. You’d figure they could at least get a fifth starter for that kind of money.
- Granted, there are a some things not to like about Sidney Crosby, but he is getting an unfair rap when it comes to the post-Stanley Cup handshake. With all due respect to Kris Draper, his comments about Crosby came off sounding like sour grapes.
- Simple math: The Red Wings pulled in more than $25 million in gate revenue alone from home games in the Stanley Cup Final - and enough overall in the playoffs to more than pay their entire player payroll for the 2008-09 season