Detroit Tigers Links: Complete 180 on Fister deal, rotation could be historic, Sanchez throws & more


Mar 2, 2014; Melbourne, FL, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Doug Fister (58) warms up for the first inning as the Nationals beat the Miami Marlins 10-3 in a spring training exhibition game at Space Coast Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Tigers look smart in trading Doug Fister for Robbie Ray – Drew Sharp, Detroit Free Press

"Robbie Ray looked composed recording his first major league win in his first major league start. (It certainly helped that Houston might be one of the worst major league teams ever assembled.) But Ray did more than enough, pitching more than five innings and allowing only one earned run, to help justify a trade that even many hard-core baseball analysts questioned.“I didn’t take the attitude that I had to prove myself to others,” Ray said afterward. “I just wanted to stay within myself and concentrate on doing what I know I do well. And it certainly helped getting through that first inning without them scoring a run.”"

It was hard to find a Tigers’ fan who was happy with that trade in the off-season. In hindsight it looks pretty good. No one could have predicted that on May 9, Doug Fister has yet to take the mound for his new team due to injuries and Robbie Ray could get shelled in his next start on Sunday, but some Tigers’ fans are starting to see the method behind Dave Dombrowski’s madness with the deal. Because even without Fister, baseball is taking notice of Detroit’s starting five…

Detroit Tigers’ Starting Rotation Poised to Make History in 2014 – Kyle Keith, Rant Sports

"In 2013, the Detroit Tigers‘ starting rotation accomplished something that hadn’t been done in the American League since 1977. They had two pitchers, Max Scherzer and Anibal Sanchez, with an ERA below 3.00 and more than 200 strikeouts. The last pair of AL teammates to do that was Nolan Ryan and Frank Tanana for the 1977 California Angels (now Los Angeles Angels). No team in MLB history has had three pitchers with those numbers, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility for the Tigers’ three-headed monster of Scherzer, Sanchez and Justin Verlander to make history this season.What seems almost assured, though, is for the Tigers to have two pitchers, Scherzer and Verlander, do it again this season, which would make them the first Major League team to do it in back-to-back years since the San Francisco Giants in 1968 and 1969, and the first AL team since the Philadelphia Athletics (now Oakland Athletics) in the 1904 and 1905 seasons, which stands as the only AL team to do it in consecutive years. It would also be just the 22nd time in Major League history and only the ninth time in AL history. If you’re wondering, the record is five straight seasons when the Los Angeles Dodgers did it in 1962-1966."

We all knew what we’d get from Max and J.V., Sanchez is one of the best pitchers in the American League when healthy, and we pretty much thought Smyly would be a fairly reliable fifth starter, but the wild-card was Rick Porcello. Fans have waited for Porcello to live up to the potential that the Tigers saw when they drafted him. Perhaps that potential has unfairly tagged him as “disappointing” in his years in Detroit, because he has been a rather successful fifth guy since 2009. Kudos to Rick for stepping up when Fister was dealt.

Limited edition Detroit Tigers Foundation bow ties on sale now at –

"The Detroit Tigers Foundation, an affiliate of Ilitch Charities and FOX Sports Detroit have partnered with the BowTie Cause Foundation to offer a unique limited edition bow tie to Tigers fans. Bow ties are available now for $57 at signature bow tie features the Tigers classic blue and orange colors in a pattern designed to represent both the stitches on a baseball and the tread of a tire cruising around the Motor City. The first 276 bow ties are numbered on the back, each representing a regular season win during the club’s back-to-back-to-back American League Central Division Championships from 2011-13."

The proceeds benefit the Detroit Tigers Foundation and the Torii Hunter project. If you follow many of the Tigers on Twitter, you no doubt enjoyed the many pictures of the team trying to figure out how to tie a bow tie the other day. I haven’t worn a bow tie since standing up in my cousin’s wedding when I was 13, so I’m right there with them.

Detroit Tigers’ Anibal Sanchez set for second bullpen session; Robbie Ray to start Sunday vs. Twins – Chris Iott, MLive

"Sanchez (right middle finger laceration) is not eligible to return to the starting rotation until Monday, so it was clear from the start that the Tigers would need a pitcher Sunday. Ray pitched well Tuesday in his major league debut, but he likely would have gotten the start even if he hadn’t.Sanchez threw a light bullpen session Tuesday and is expected to throw another one Thursday. The Tigers will decide on what the next step for Sanchez is after that. But Ausmus said a rehabilitation start is not a sure thing."

It should interesting to see what the Tigers will do with Sanchez when he’s due to come off the DL early next week. He seems to be progressing nicely, so another stint on the DL is not likely, but that also means that if the Tigers list him as day-to-day, they’ll have to make room on the 25-man roster. Justin Miller was sent down and then brought back up when Anibal went down a few weeks ago and he hasn’t exactly lit the world on fire with his performance lately–which means he’ll likely be the guy.