Must-click link: Remembering Greg Spira

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I didn’t know Greg Spira well, but got a chance to see him each year at the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) convention and he was a great guy despite getting a raw deal health-wise.

He’ll definitely be missed and Evan Drellich of wrote a very nice remembrance of Spira and his baseball research:

Influential researcher Spira dies at age 44

Mike Fiers may not be ready for start of regular season due to back issue

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Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that Tigers starter Mike Fiers is dealing with a back issue and may not be ready for the start of the season. Manager Ron Gardenhire characterized the injury as a “stiff back” and added, “Maybe a little bit of a bulging disk or something like that.”

Fiers, 32, signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Tigers in December. He has had a forgettable spring, yielding 12 runs on 10 hits and eight walks with seven strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings.

Fiers had a rotation spot locked up along with Michael Fulmer, Jordan Zimmermann, and Francisco Liriano. Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris were battling it out for the No. 5 spot. If Fiers opens the regular season on the 10-day disabled list, both could have spots in the rotation.