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Tigers' Shane Greene battling some bad luck as his blister split open again

Fulmer will continue to start in place of Greene for now.

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

DETROIT -- He isn't yet eligible to come off the disabled list just yet, but Shane Greene had another bump in the road to his recovery. The blister that had been healing on his right middle finger split open again, though Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said it's not severe.

Greene is currently on the 15-day DL and the soonest he can come back is on May 11. Given the team expected to do without him for at least two starts, possibly longer, it's not going to put the team in a more precarious position than they were already in.

The blister originated from Greene's blood clot issues last year, the result of a leftover scab that has refused to heal properly. There had been improvement in the last few weeks, but it's been slow going.

For the time being, Ausmus is proceeding with the plan that Michael Fulmer will remain the starting pitcher in place of Greene. Beyond that next start, nothing has been determined. In his major league debut, Fulmer gave the Tigers a dominant five innings of two-run ball.

That performance earned him another start, where he fared less favorably and gave up five runs on 10 hits across five innings pitched. Nevertheless, the Tigers don't have many choices right now and Fulmer has pitched well, for the most part. His stuff in his first start was electrifying and he didn't tire until that last inning.

If Greene is lost to the Tigers beyond that 15-day period, the team has another option in Matt Boyd should Fulmer flounder. Boyd has been strong with the Mud Hens and performed well in his brief time in Detroit this year. With the exception of Jordan Zimmermann, who has been stellar, the starting rotation has struggled and the team cannot afford a continuance of that trend.

In five starts with Toledo, Boyd has given up no more than three earned runs in a single start. He's pitched at least five innings in four of those five, and he gave the Mud Hens eight shutout innings in his last start, scattering five hits. He's kept hitters off-balance and off the bases and his low strikeout count (he had more than five strikeouts only once) hasn't been an issue.

This next start for Fulmer may dictate whether he stays with the team until Greene returns, or whether they swap him out for Boyd. Either way, Greene won't be around for a while yet and Fulmer needs to do better than his last start if the Tigers have a hope of rebounding. The same goes for the rest of the rotation.