Detroit Tigers fans didn’t have to wait long to see the team make another roster move. On Wednesday, the Tigers optioned Tyler Collins to Triple-A and recalled Daniel Norris.
Detroit Tigers starting pitchers have largely struggled this season. Wednesday’s starter, Jordan Zimmermann, has been the only starter to consistently find success. Justin Verlander and Michael Fulmer have both had their moments, but that’s been it where the starters are concerned.
Anibal Sanchez has become slightly homer prone (six allowed in six starts) and Mike Pelfrey continues to allow an unhealthy amount of base runners. The former Met is currently giving up 13.1 hits and 4.5 walks per nine innings. Additionally, his FIP is an uninspiring 6.16.
Shane Greene has a much lower FIP (3.65), but he too has struggled, allowing 11 hits, 10 runs and nine walks in only 14.1 innings pitched.
Knowing this, it probably isn’t surprising that the Tigers made a move to potentially boost the rotation, not to mention the pitching staff as a whole. Detroit’s official Twitter account announced that Daniel Norris has been recalled from Triple-A Toledo. Going the other way in order to make room for the pitcher is outfielder Tyler Collins.
Chris Iott of MLive.com tweeted on Wednesday morning that he’s “Been told that Daniel Norris will join the Tigers tonight to pitch out of the bullpen.”
Detroit’s bullpen has been taxed as of late, but it wouldn’t be surprise to see Norris eventually transition back to the Tigers’ rotation. With Pelfrey and Sanchez are still struggling, and Greene sidelined on the disabled list, the need still remains. What’s more, the team could look to give Michael Fulmer a start or two off here and there to preserve his arm, opening up potential opportunities for the former Blue Jay to make a spot start.
Norris did struggle in Triple-A, but perhaps a return to the Major Leagues will help him rediscover his form. He may just be the boost the Detroit rotation needs to right the ship this season.
Additionally, starting Norris out in the bullpen could eventually help him find success in the rotation. Pitching in relief would allow him to get re-acclimated to big league hitters. Once he does this, it wouldn’t be a surprise at some point in the future given the struggles of some of Detroit’s starting pitchers.
Heading to Toledo is Collins, who as recalled just a few days ago, didn’t get into a game during his brief return to the Tigers. On the season with Detroit, the outfielder is hitting .100 with a .250 OPS and one RBI in 10 games.
It will be interesting to see if the 25-year-old will be called upon again this season by the Detroit Tigers. Cameron Maybin will be healthy at some point, while JaCoby Jones will return from his suspension soon. There’s also fellow outfielder Steven Moya, who is hitting .303 with 10 doubles, nine home runs and 23 RBI in 30 Triple-A games.