Tyson Ross pushing for Padres roster spot

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Tyson Ross has thrown 11.1 consecutive scoreless innings in the Cactus League, pushing his overall spring ERA down to 2.76. His early success is pushing his stock higher and higher, which may eventually result in his winning the #5 spot in the starting rotation. At the very least, he may warrant a spot in the bullpen.

Via Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune, manager Bud Black is impressed:

“I like the way he’s pitching the last couple starts,” Black said. “He’s doing his part to forge his way onto our roster, whether it’s in the bullpen or it’s in the rotation.”

Coming over from the Oakland Athletics in a November trade, Ross has a career 5.33 ERA in 148.2 innings. Despite the scoreless streak, Ross has allowed eight walks in 16.1 spring innings, which may be one cause for concern.

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.