Tigers stick to basics in setting rotation for World Series

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The Tigers have no reason to make any changes to their postseason starting rotation. So they won’t.

Tigers manager Jim Leyland told Bob Nightengale of USA Today that Justin Verlander will start Game 1, Doug Fister will start Game 2, Anibal Sanchez will start Game 3 and Max Scherzer will start Game 4 no matter which team — Cardinals or Giants — his club winds up facing in the 2012 World Series.

Those four registered a 0.66 ERA last round against the Yankees, allowing just two runs on 14 hits over 27 1/3 combined innings. That’s the second-best mark in a best-of-seven, behind only the 1966 Orioles.

Reds ink Oliver Perez to a minor-league deal

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The Reds have signed free agent reliever Oliver Perez to a minor-league contract, the team announced Saturday. The deal comes with a major-league invite and could be worth $1.25 million if Perez secures a roster spot this spring, with an additional $500,000 in potential performance bonuses.

Perez, 36, is coming off of a two-year run with the Nationals. He produced a 4.64 ERA, 3.3 BB/9 an d10.6 SO/9 through 50 relief appearances and 33 innings with the club in 2017. The veteran lefty hasn’t kept an ERA under 4.00 in at least four seasons, but he continues to be undeniably solid against left-handed batters, holding them to a .227/.301/.364 batting line over 18 1/3 innings last year.

While returning southpaw Wandy Peralta appears to have locked down a bullpen spot already, Perez will still compete for another role against fellow left-handers Cody Reed and Amir Garrett, both of whom also have experience in the rotation. If Perez doesn’t break camp with the team, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon notes, he’ll be permitted to opt out of his contract. The Reds are currently looking to bounce back from a dismal performance in 2017, one in which their bullpen ranked 28th among major league teams with a collective 5.63 ERA and -1.2 fWAR.