Daniel Norris has been placed on the 15-day disabled list and he will get an MRI on Thursday, Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus told reporters after Wednesday night's 15-8 victory over the Chicago Cubs.
Norris left the game in the fifth inning after suffering a right oblique strain while facing Dexter Fowler. Norris told reporters that the injury occurred during the first pitch to Fowler while attempting a "nasty" curveball. The left hander exited the game having allowed three runs on four hits, striking out six and allowing two home runs after 4 1/3 innings of work.
The Tigers are left with few options with Norris on the DL. Kyle Lobstein has been working his way back from his own lengthy DL stint and struggling starter Shane Greene just hit the DL with his own injury. Ausmus stated after the game that Buck Farmer and Lobstein are the two most likely replacements for Norris -- Lobstein is nearing the end of his rehab -- but hasn't yet discussed it with Tigers general manager Al Avila.
Saturday's starter Matt Boyd also pitched in Wednesday night's game for an inning and 18 pitches -- it was also his throw day between starts. As a result, Ausmus said he's not sure who will start on Saturday, but if Norris' replacement can be started there, Boyd will be pushed back by a day.
Until the homer in the third, Norris has retired 8-of-9 batters with four strikeouts and just the single allowed. Even after giving up two home runs -- a solo shot and a two-run homer -- Norris had settled down and appeared to get back on track. It left the Tigers without a reliever warming in the bullpen due to the sudden nature of Norris' injury.
Tom Gorzelanny, who was rushed into production, faced two of the three same batters he'd faced the night prior. He walked both Kyle Schwarber and Kris Bryant to load the bases but got Anthony Rizzo to pop out to Ian Kinsler before Ausmus brought in Al Alburquerque to record the final out. Alburquerque did the job and escaped a bases-loaded jam.
Norris had also homered in this game, as the Tigers were playing by interleague rules in Chicago against the Cubs. He'd never recorded a plate appearance even in the minors, yet blasted a 419-foot two-run homer to dead center, helping his own cause in the second inning.
The Tigers have an interleague game to make up with the Reds on Monday in Cincinnati. It was originally a day off for Detroit, but the day was decided on due to inclement weather. The game was the fourth in a four-game series that the Tigers had already dropped back-to-back games.
Monday's game would have originally been Norris' to start, so now the team will need to either find a replacement starter or shuffle the rotation.