Two days after I wrote about Jose Berrios making his first major league start, the Tigers have brought up a young arm of their own. Michael Fulmer will make his first professional start on Friday (against the Twins, coincidentally), and I dub today "Michael Fulmer Day."
His statistics so far this year haven't been eye popping -- a 4.11 ERA and 1.37 WHIP in three starts -- but a 15-inning sample size should be noted. Meanwhile, his strikeout rate (11.74 per nine innings) and walk rate (2.93 per nine innings) have been terrific. The reason for excitement was what he accomplished in 2015 where he went 10-3, had a 1.07 WHIP, averaged a strikeout per inning and was the Double-A Eastern League Pitcher of the Year.
"I liked his mentality on the mound," Verlander said. "He's not scared and I love his stuff. He pitches, attacks guys, and I think he's got a chance to be an excellent pitcher at the big league level."
Fulmer impressed in spring training but couldn't crack the opening day roster. The Tigers now hope that he can help stabilize a maligned rotation, that outside of Jordan Zimmermann, has provided little consistency. Get excited, the future is now.
Of all the hot takes, the sudden accusation that Jake Arrieta is taking steroids might be the hottest. Are we really at the point that anyone who develops success from humble beginnings is a cheater? Oh, this was Stephen A. Smith's fault? Never mind move along.
Also, I think we have the reason for the early struggles.
Extended nets, still a good idea
Hey look, that fast traveling piece of wood hell bent on impaling someone in the 10th row was abruptly stopped. We should definitely not install those in all of our parks.
The anatomy of a strike zone
When viewing the difference between expected strikes vs. actual strikes, the Tigers are pitching to one of the least generous strike zones in the league. Granted the White Sox are last, leaving us with the articles money quote: "That already tells you this isn't the most important thing in the world, but it's definitely a thing in the world."
Since I wasted your time with this, please accept Blinky the three-eyed Simpsons fish rendered over Lance Barrett's terrible strike zone as an apology.*
*Blogging pro-tip: always link your own tweets for more likes.
Bird flipping, an epidemic
This time it's Glen Perkins that was caught providing pleasantries. At least it was to someone on his own team and not the general public.
Do you even read?
If the answer is no, here are some new baseball picture books. "For the kids."