I, like many Tigers fans, have been tuning in for every Washburn start, only to be brutally disappointed. Jarrod Washburn was a key pick up at the trade deadline; as he was supposed to secure the pitching rotation so manager Jim Leland could have taken twenty year old phenom Rick Porcello. But unfortunately for a city that's been hit hard by the recent economic down-turn, the Tigers may eat themselves out of a playoff run, if Jarrod Washburn can't turn things around.
Luke French and Mauricio Robles were sent to Seattle in exchange for the thirty-four year old Washburn, but one has to question the deal. Sure, if Washburn panned out as a quality started, it may have went down as one of the best trades this season, but that's not what happened. If the Tigers had kept their two prospects, I doubt their record would be much different. Luke French is certainly capable of giving the Tampa Bay Rays six earned runs without capturing an out.
Jarrod Washburn's last four starts have had him on the mound a total of 25 2/3 innings, with seventeen earned runs. Put simply, he doesn't look good. One of those starts, however, showed some promise, when he pitched eight innings of scoreless baseball against the Kansas City Royals. In that start, Washburn gave us Tiger fans some hope, as he gave up only three hits.
The really telling stat about Washburn's stay thus far in Detroit, is his Earned Run Average. When acquired from the Mariners, Washburn's E.R.A was 2.64. After only six games, Washburn's E.R.A is up to 3.55. Making his E.R.A thus far for the Tigers over 6.8. A number that shows just how much of a quality starter Jarrod Washburn has been for the Tigers.
However, there is a number more important than E.R.A. That number is four. Why four? Four is the number of games the Tigers have won in six Washburn starts. So apparently, Washburn brings out the offence in the Tigers, but there is no way you can count on that offence staying so efficient.
There is still a long time to play baseball. I am not positive that this Tiger's pitching staff can make it through September and October on the shoulders of Jarrod Washburn as the fourth starter. Even if they can keep the American League Central through the end of the regular season, I don't see them beating the Wild Card team.
I don't think it's plausible that Justin Verlander, Edwin Jackson, and Rick Porcello win every game they pitch, and if Jarrod Washburn is the fourth started, they're almost guaranteed a loss. I'm sorry to say, but the acquisition of Jarrod Washburn might be the down-fall of the Detroit Tigers 2009 season.