The Detroit Tigers bullpen has been a source of much consternation and debate over the past few years. In fact, many Detroit fans and baseball prognosticators have cited the bullpen as a main reason for the Tigers falling short during their playoff runs.
Shoring up the relief pitching has been a major goal of the offseason for GM Dave Dombrowski and the Tigers brass. New reliever Tom Gorzelanny was brought onboard for 2015. Also, Brad Ausmus believes that Joe Nathan will have a much better year than what he showed for Detroit in 2014, according to Chris Lott at MLive.com. For his part, Nathan feels positive about 2015 as well after changing his offseason workout regime:
“I think what I’ve done, what I’ve adjusted, has just helped me overall feel better,” Nathan said. “Not just doing what we do on the field, but bouncing out of bed, being able to run around when we’re stretching. A lot of that last year was, I’ve got to get myself ready to get myself ready to get ready so that I feel OK to get on the mound. Now it’s I can get out of bed and think, ‘Oh, I feel pretty good.’ “
According to a recent article from Ashley Dunkak at CBS Detroit, Ausmus has a very good idea of what the Detroit bullpen roster will look like for next year. Apparently, Detroit will carry seven relief pitchers in 2015, and six of the seven spots are already spoken for:
“You’ve got Joe [Nathan], you’ve got [Bruce] Rondon, Joba [Chamberlain], [Tom] Gorzelanny, [Joakim] Soria, Alby [Al Alburquerque] – that’s six right there,” Ausmus said. “I think those six, it’d be surprising if they weren’t on the team. Something strange would have to happen, just based on their performances in the past.
Ausmus did not rule out the possibility of carrying eight relievers, but, he seems to be confident on the top 6 so far. Competition remains heated in spring training and we’ll just have to stay tuned to see who rises to the top.