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Detroit Tigers links: Starters, not bullpen costing Tigers in 2016

The Tigers' starters have struggle nightly out of the gate.

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

With Mike Pelfrey's five-inning start on Thursday, the Detroit Tigers starters are now average 5 1/2 per start this season,  tied for the third-lowest rate in the American League. Only one starter, Jordan Zimmermann, has gone more than six innings in a start this season. It's glaringly obvious that the team needs more from their starters.

This is a problem that Tigers fans are not familiar with. For much of their recent history, the starters have carried the team deep into the seventh, eighth, and even ninth innings. But gone are the days of David Price and Max Scherzer.

Instead, the revamped bullpen has been putting in quality work. More work than it should, even. While they have largely done it successfully -- I'd say 2016 is a closer problem, not a bullpen problem -- this many innings leads to more exposure of the lesser bullpen arms. Guys will tire out. And this will eventually lead to more runs.

Justin Verlander and Anibal Sanchez have to deliver. It's that simple. The team clearly can hit, and the bullpen has proven capable. The Tigers will go as these two rotation staples go. Let's hope for a lot more Must See JV in the near future.

Tiger Tales

ESPN takes a look at Justin Upton's strikeout rate. Which is high. But it's always going to be high. If you are freaking out about Miguel Cabrera's slow start I don't know how you deal with daily stress. Jose Iglesias' contact rate is even higher this year. Kid simply puts the bat on the ball.

Couldn't happen to a nicer guy

ESPN has fired Curt Schilling for "unacceptable" conduct. It will get lost in all of this that Curt Schilling was really good at throwing a baseball. But it should. Because he seems like a pretty horrible human being.

Here, learn more than you ever wanted to about Marco Estrada

Toronto's Marco Estrada leads the league in speed differential between his fastball and change-up. He also has one of the best spin rates of any pitcher. Granted, I'm a nerd, but I loved this in depth profile on his pitching style and the anomalies noted above.

Using your head

Bryce Harper and Mike Trout still slide head first because they are bosses. But is the risk too great?

Clayton Kershaw threw an eephus pitch... I think?

It was clocked at 46 miles per hour. I can't imagine stepping up expecting 96 and getting half that.

R.I.P. Prince

Rest in peace, you were the best of us.