“It’s probably too soon to say Daniel Norris is fixed,” wrote Chris McCosky of the Detroit News on Tuesday, but a flurry of articles from those around Tigers camp after Norris’ scoreless outing against the Boston Red Sox suggests otherwise. Norris struck out three and walked one in three frames down in Fort Myers, and generally looked like his former self in the process. His velocity was up, as McCosky and others reported, and he looked as sharp as his line suggested.
Will that be enough to land him a spot on the Opening Day roster? Cody Stavenhagen of The Athletic left Norris off his projected 25-man roster (before Norris’ outing, admittedly) and others have projected the same already this spring. Manager Ron Gardenhire was also non-committal, but he certainly sounded pleased with how Norris looked on the mound.
“It’s nice to see,” Gardenhire said. “He was hitting 92 (mph) today and I think there’s going to be more in there once he’s more confident.”
Based purely on results, Norris certainly looks like he belongs in the rotation. He has a 3.52 ERA in four spring training outings so far, with seven strikeouts and five walks in 7 2⁄3 frames. That ERA is second to only Jordan Zimmermann, who has given up two runs in nine innings. Tyson Ross and Michael Fulmer have struggled the most, allowing ERAs of 8.44 and 7.88, respectively. Ross was much better in his last outing, while Fulmer is still struggling to regain his fastball velocity after offseason surgery.
Fulmer's first pitch registered at 92 on Joker Marchant Stadium radar gun. Fastballs after that were 89-91. https://t.co/uoZG0DKzXw— Jason Beck (@beckjason) March 9, 2019
Baseball is changing its rules, and I dunno man
We have tried to keep track of all of baseball’s proposed rule changes around here, but with both the league (read: the owners) and the players association tossing out ideas, it’s hard to keep things straight.
One thing that now seems certain is that the trade deadline will be changing. According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, Major League Baseball is expected to adopt a rule for the 2019 season that eliminates the August waiver trade period. All deadline deals will have to be struck by July 31, full stop. Teams who miss out on their blockbuster deal will simply be stuck with their current roster.
This could potentially impact the Tigers more than others. Detroit has struck a couple of August trades under general manager Al Avila, including the late-night highwire act that sent Justin Verlander to Houston in 2017. However, I don’t expect this to have much of an impact in the long term. Teams will eventually adjust, and we will forget that the weird August waiver period ever happened.
Or they will change it back. Who knows, really.
Calm down, Atlantic League
Speaking of rule changes, the Atlantic League is going hog-wild with them in 2019. They are partnering with Major League Baseball to test several different changes, serving as a laboratory of sorts.
The only problem? An actual laboratory wouldn’t change this many variables in one experiment. It’s possible to isolate certain changes — reducing the time between innings likely won’t impact anything else, for instance — but others can’t help but collide with one another.
There’s one that I’m actually concerned about, though. Not only is moving the mound back two feet a monumental change that probably should have been introduced in smaller increments, but making the switch mid-season seems like a recipe for a rash of arm injuries.
That’s... that’s the wrong hat, Danny
Something called a Danny Amendola is apparently coming to Detroit.
I appreciate the enthusiasm, but that’s not a Detroit Lions hat, sir. You seem to be confused.
For all of your other football needs — I hear there are lots of them this week — check out our friends at Pride of Detroit.
Around the horn
The Yankees bought YES Network, which I thought they already owned. PECOTA is more accurate than Vegas, it seems. Mike Moustakas is entering uncharted territory. Seven trade ideas that I would like to see happen (especially the first two). Brad Keller is the Royals’ Opening Day starter, in case you want to feel better about your favorite baseball team.