By Rob Rogacki | @Detroit4lyfeRob| Bless You Boys
ROTATION – Most teams will be scrambling during Spring Training to find a competent fifth starter. The Tigers, on the other hand, have the luxury of watching left-hander Drew Smyly and right-hander Rick Porcello fight tooth-and-nail to see which one will make the rotation. Smyly’s emergence in 2012 made top prospect Jacob Turner expendable. However, in a cruel twist of fate, Smyly’s stint in the rotation essentially ended once Turner was flipped to Miami for Anibal Sanchez. Porcello, on the other hand, struggled mightily throughout most of 2012, leaving fans wondering if the former first round pick would ever live up to the hype. Still just 24-years-old, Porcello still has three more seasons under club control.
As for the rest of the rotation, Tigers fans are in for a real treat in 2013. Justin Verlander is the best pitcher on the planet, a once-in-a-generation talent that may be regarded as the best pitcher to ever put on a Tigers uniform once he finally hangs up his spikes. Max Scherzer seemed to put everything together over the last two-thirds of 2012, racking up huge strikeout numbers in the process. Doug Fister was arguably the Tigers’ best pitcher in the second half of 2012 after shaking off a nagging rib injury during the first half of the season. Sanchez, fresh off signing a five-year, $80 million contract, will look to continue the excellent work he did in August and September.
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