Predicting the Detroit Tigers 2024 Starting Rotation

Which Tigers Prospect Is Most Important for the Long-Term Success

The Detroit Tigers this offseason went after pitching signing Kenta Maeda and Jack Flaherty to contracts; Maeda got two years for $24 million, and Flaherty got one year for $14 million. They also have Tarik Skubal and Matt Manning ready to roll and will be getting back Casey Mize from Tommy John surgery as well as back surgery. Also, the names of those who will be competing at Spring Training are Reese Olson and Sawyer Gipson-Long. Last season, the Tigers had 17 different pitchers make a start, including going with an opener on some days. Things should be different in 2024; with the American League Central being wide open for anyone to win, the Tigers pitching depth will be the key aspect that could put them at the top and win the division for the first time since 2014, which was also the last time, they made the playoffs. Now, with only five spots in the rotation, who gets them, and in what order will they be? Let’s predict.

Kenta Maeda

Maeda started his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers, where he spent four seasons before signing with the Minnesota Twins. He finished third in Rookie of the Year voting in 2016 and second in Cy Young voting in 2020, with the Twins losing out to Shane Bieber from the Cleveland Guardians. That 2020 season, Maeda made 11 starts, going 6-1 with a 2.70 ERA, a 3.00 FIP, and a 0.75 WHIP. This past season, he appeared in 21 games, with 20 coming as starts; he went 6-8 with a 4.23 ERA, a 4.02 FIP, a 1.16 WHIP, and 117 strikeouts in 104.1 innings of work.

Tarik Skubal

Skubal was one of the Tigers best pitchers last season when he returned. He was named the American League pitcher of the month for September when he made five starts, going 4-0 with a 0.90 ERA and 43 strikeouts; he would finish the season 7-3 with a 2.80 ERA, a 2.00 FIP, a 0.89 WHIP and 102 strikeouts in 80.1 innings of work. Skubal could compete to get the ball on opening day, but no matter what, he will be in the top two, just giving the nod to Maeda to be the number one with his experience.

Casey Mize

Mize hasn’t pitched since 2022, when he only made two starts, going 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA, a 4.21 FIP, a 1.50 WHIP, and four strikeouts in ten innings. Mize underwent Tommy John and back surgery and returned to throwing during last season but ultimately did not return. This season, Mize appears to be full go, and if he can return to the pitcher he was in 2021, the Tigers will be glad he’s back; he went 7-9 with a 3.71 ERA in 30 starts as well as posted a 4.71 FIP, a 1.13 WHIP, and 118 strikeouts in 150.1 innings.

Jack Flaherty

Flaherty seems to be a piece that the Tigers hope Chris Fetter can work on to get him back to his old self. Fetter has had some success getting Eduardo Rodriguez and Michael Lorenzen to the level they were at last year. Flaherty’s best season came in 2019 when he finished fourth in the Cy Young voting and 13th in the MVP voting while with the St. Louis Cardinals; he went 11-8 with a 2.75 ERA, a 3.46 FIP, a 0.96 WHIP, and 231 strikeouts in 196.1 innings. If the Fetter can get that out of Flaherty, the Tigers will have a steal.

Matt Manning

Manning is entering his fourth season with the Tigers, and each season, he has progressed and gotten much better. In his rookie season, 2021, he made 18 starts, going 4-7 with a 5.80 ERA, a 4.62 FIP, a 1.51 WHIP, and 57 strikeouts in 85.1 innings. Last season, he made 15 starts, going 5-4 with a 3.58 ERA, a 4.81 FIP, a 1.03 WHIP, and 50 strikeouts in 78 innings. The goal will be to keep Manning healthy and hopefully get 25 starts out of him this season.


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