Click here for an explanation. We've covered the hitters, this time it's the starting pitching, and next time the bullpen:
Jeremy Bonderman, second starter. At 22, Jeremy Bonderman is in his third full season of major-league ball. He's already a very good pitcher, and, barring injury, he should be a star for the Tigers at least through the end of his first multi-million dollar contract. The pessimist in me, though, is forcing me to list these names, no less worthy of excitement in their day than Bonderman is today: Justin Thompson, Jeff Weaver.
Nate Robertson, fourth starter. Robertson is borderline, but he's only 27, I don't believe he's even arbitration-eligible yet, he throws hard, I like the glasses, and he's a lefty. Aside from Bonderman, he's the only current Tiger starter who is ever a threat to strike anyone out, though his BB/K this year is only 37/55 in 93 IP. Two great starts in his last two outings, replete with a rediscovery of his strikeout groove, have put him on this team, but he could easily play himself off.
--Jason Johnson. He's 31 and he'll be a free agent. He's provided a reasonable degree of the veteran steadiness the team thought they were paying for last year, but it's unlikely that he'll be resigned, even if he finishes the season in Detroit.
--Mike Maroth. Maroth is a better pitcher than most non-Tiger fans would give him credit for, but perhaps not as good as the most optimistic of Detroiters would choose to believe. He is a lefty, yes, but his stuff is so underwhelming that his margin of error is always paper thin. I could see him stick around on the Tigers as a long reliever. A more likely future is that he'll join another organization and fall into the role that Terry Mulholland played for so many teams late in his career, or that Glendon Rusch holds now for the Cubs: rubber-armed spot starter and mop-up man.
--Wil Ledezma is not currently on the team, and therefore is not eligible for this exercise, but I haven't given up hope just yet, and I hope neither has Dombrowski. Verlander hasn't arrived yet, either, so let's just hold our horses.
--Sean Douglass. If the Tigers get another half-dozen good starts from Douglass this year, that will be a victory in and of itself.
The Roster So Far:
C -- Ivan Rodriguez
1B -- Chris Shelton
2B -- [open]
3B -- Brandon Inge
SS -- Carlos Guillen
LF -- [open]
CF -- [open]
RF -- Magglio Ordonez
DH -- [open]
SP -- [open]
SP -- Jeremy Bonderman
SP -- [open]
SP -- Nate Robertson
SP -- [open]
Is Robertson for real and here to stay? Is he a better choice for future contending teams than Maroth is? Let me know.