1.) He’s not an ace, but the Tigers don’t need one.
Jordan Zimmermann was counted among the ranks of the aces in this year’s free-agent class. That’s not really what he is. Even at his best with the Nationals, Zimmermann was more of a number-two starter. Verlander is also closer to a two at this point. The Tigers had an ace in David Price, but that did not get them very far last season.
The Tigers don’t need a true frontline ace. Offense is still what will make this team tick, not unlike the Royals. The Tigers led the American League in hits and batting average last season while also finishing second in OBP and third in OPS. Hopefully Cabrera can stay on the field for 150-plus games. J.D. Martinez proved his 2014 season was not a fluke. Jose Iglesias had a .300 season and Ian Kinsler was not far off.
Zimmermann will likely start Opening Day, making him the de facto ace of the Tigers. If he turns in 34 starts of 3.50 ERA pitching, the Tigers will be just fine. Zimmermann will provide guidance for the young prospects while eating innings, throwing strikes, and keeping his team in every single game. He will not give Detroit eye-popping numbers like Max Scherzer or David Price, but that’s not what the team needs.