Detroit has four pitchers who could potentially get a Game 1 assignment for a lot of playoff teams and the Tigers just announced their postseason rotation with Max Scherzer getting the first assignment.
Scherzer will start Game 1 against the A’s, followed by Justin Verlander in Game 2, Anibal Sanchez in Game 3, and Doug Fister in Game 4. You know it’s a good rotation when last year’s Cy Young runner-up is starting Game 2 and this year’s ERA leader is starting Game 3.
Rick Porcello, who was more or less a league-average pitcher this season as the Tigers’ fifth starter, will work strictly out of the bullpen in the playoffs and if the series with Oakland goes the maximum five games Scherzer will take the mound twice.
The Braves have signed reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Bowman adds that the right-hander has a “good chance” to make the Braves’ bullpen out of spring training.
Boyer, 35, spent the past season with the Brewers, finishing with a 3.95 ERA and a 26/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.
Boyer, of course, started his professional baseball career with the Braves as they selected him in the third round of the 2000 draft. Since the Braves traded him in 2009, Boyer has pitched for the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, and Twins along with the Brewers.
Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.
Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.