Doug Fister’s bullpen session yesterday went well enough that the Tigers are expected to activate him from the disabled list for Saturday’s start against the Rockies.
Fister has spent two stints on the DL with a strained left side, the latest of which has sidelined him since May 29.
In between the DL trips he started six games with a 3.15 ERA and the Tigers’ rotation can certainly use the help at this point. Even with Justin Verlander atop the rotation Detroit starters rank just 22nd in ERA and every starter not named Verlander has a 5.03 ERA.
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.