Forget about Zach Minor, Nate Robertson and Dontrelle Willis. In my mind, none of them are serious contenders for a Major League starting rotation.
It’s time for the Tigers to part ways with Minor and Robertson. Especially if they can be traded for a fresh arm in the bullpen. Willis won’t be that easy to unload because of his ridiculous salary.
The Detroit Tigers have two top-notch starters at the moment in Justin Verlander and Armando Galarraga — and not necessarily in the order. Galarraga has the potential to surpass Verlander as the Tigers number one starter if he continues to develop his arm and refine his paralyzing slider.
The big questions are Jeremy Bonderman and newcomer Edwin Jackson. Both have the potential to win 15+ games. Will Bonderman be able to bounce back after last year’s season-ending injury? Will Jackson be able to adjust to his new team in time to make a meaningful contribution?
If so, a four man starting rotation of Verlander, Galarraga, Bonderman and Jackson could make the 2009 season a competitive one for the Tigers. If not, the Tigers will have a tough time putting together winning streaks and avoiding losing ones. That’s what happened in 2008.