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Drew Smyly has quickly made a name for himself in the big leagues after to the team in April.
Justin Verlander is not slumping after his Cy Young/MVP year, as might be expected. In fact, his April has been better than most of his past Aprils. After last night's win, Verlander is 3-1 with a 2.63 ERA and 48 strikeouts in seven starts.
Doug Fister only made it through an inning in his first start of the season against the Red Sox. He left the game with an oblique strain and has taken just over a month to rehab it.
But if his return against the Mariners is any indication of where he's at, things are looking good for the Detroit staff which was forced to trot Adam Wilk out to the mound to fill Fister's spot. In his first game back, Fister threw seven innings of scoreless ball, allowing only four hits and striking out three.
Drew Smyly may be Jim Leyland's lightning in a bottle. He made the opening day rotation and has been nothing but stellar. In each of his first five starts Smyly has given up two runs or less. In the first four starts, he only gave up one run.
His cumulative totals in five starts are 1.61 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 29 strikeouts and eight walks in 28 innings pitched. The rookie has provided a boost for the Tigers rotation when they've needed it.
What would otherwise be an "A" grade is knocked to a "B" by the slow starts of Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello. Both of their last two starts have shown that they're back on track, but April featured some ugly outings by the third and fourth pitchers in the Detroit rotation.