Tal’s Hill gets to stay


A few months ago Astros owner Jim Crane suggested that the team may get rid of Tal’s Hill — that weird rise of land out on the warning track in center at Minute Maid Park — as well as the train that sits above the outfield.  Guess he changed his mind:

I guess anything, if it’s been around long enough, becomes a tradition. Even if it’s a dumb flair-for-the-sake-of-flair design element like a hill in the middle of an outfield.

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.