Tarik Skubal’s Cy Young Hype Is Rapidly Growing in Lakeland

Skubal's Cy Young Stock Rising.

Tigers baseball is back in Tiger Town, and the talk of the town has been Tarik Skubal, the expected ace for the Detroit Tigers rotation in 2024. The 27-year-old lefty has lofty expectations for this season, rightfully so with the performances he’s put together the past two seasons when healthy. Skubal relies on a five-pitch arsenal featuring an electric four-seam fastball, changeup, slider, sinker, and a knuckle curve which he rarely throws.

Players in the Tigers organization believe they can win the division, and a healthy Tarik Skubal in 2024 would go a long way toward accomplishing that goal. Skubal is already creating a lot of buzz and a lot more optimism early on in spring training, and Detroit has yet to play a game in 2024, but Skubal is already turning heads in Lakeland, Florida, also known as Tiger Town. He’s already reached triple digits on the radar gun, hitting 100 MPH with his fastball, and popping the catcher’s glove with a 99+ MPH fastball multiple times.

Tigers manager AJ Hinch on Tarik Skubal throwing 99+ MPH fastballs

Even with the Cy Young hype, the most I’m asking from Skubal is to be healthy this season and not miss time. That’s why seeing him already throwing triple digits is slightly concerning. The good news is, that Skubal said that he never would have known he was throwing 99+, which means he’s not overworking his arm to reach such velocity. Throughout the season, Skubal will not need to throw 99+ to be successful. If he’s in the 95-96 MPH range on average with his fastball, it will be just fine. However, It’s good to know he can speed up the opposing hitters in situations where he can’t give up a run and needs to try something different to survive an inning.

Skubal currently has the eighth-best odds to win the AL Cy Young per DraftKings. While he certainly has the talent, tools, and coaching staff to do it, his injury history is concerning. It will be interesting to see what kind of numbers he can put up if he’s fully healthy this season. As alluded to earlier, he might be Detroit’s most important piece to bring meaningful October baseball back to the Motor City. If he suffers another injury that forces him to miss somewhat significant time, it could be the difference in whether or not the Tigers outlast their AL Central rivals to win the division at the end of the 2024 season.

Gage O'Leary

I'm one of the writers for ITD Baseball, I cover the Detroit Tigers and I hope to have a career in sports some day.

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