Fulmer steady as struggling Tigers face uncertain future
Every time the Detroit Tigers lose another game, the franchise moves a bit closer to a highly murky future. It’s hard to say what the roster will look like a year from now — or even a month from now.
Amid all that uncertainty, Michael Fulmer has added some much-needed stability in the starting rotation.
After winning Rookie of the Year honours in 2016, Fulmer has been one of the most dependable pitchers in the American League so far this season. He is Detroit’s lone representative for the All-Star Game — even Miguel Cabrera didn’t make it this time — and at age 24, he could be the player the Tigers eventually try to rebuild around.
“Winning Rookie of the Year and going to the All-Star Game are things you think about for your whole life. Once you get to this level, though, you don’t really think of yourself in those situations.
“You are just trying to win your next game,” Fulmer said Sunday. “I don’t think it will sink in until I get down there. It was great to have all my teammates congratulate me. I knew they meant it.”
The Tigers acquired Fulmer in 2015 when they traded Yoenis Cespedes to the New York Mets. While Daniel Norris and Matthew Boyd — other pitchers Detroit acquired at the deadline that year — have had their ups and downs, Fulmer has consistently been good. He went 11-7 with a 3.06 ERA last season, winning Rookie of the Year despite a late surge from Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez. This year, he’s 7-6 with a 3.19 ERA.