The Tigers are going to have to limit their best pitcher’s innings pretty soon

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Michael Fulmer has had a fantastic rookie year. He’s 10-3 in 19 starts and leads the American League in ERA at 2.25. Yesterday he tossed a complete game shutout. The Tigers — five games out on the AL Central, a game and a half back in the Wild Card — would be in big trouble without him. They’re going to have to be without him at least a little bit, however, because of his workload.

Yesterday Tigers manager Brad Ausmus acknowledged that Fulmer’s workload is becoming an issue. He’s at 120 innings on the season now, after pitching 124.1 innings across three levels in 2015. There is more strain in the bigs, of course, and the season still has a month and a half to go, including a possible playoff appearance by Detroit. Yesterday Ausmus said “He’s making it exceedingly difficult for us to keep his innings down,” said Ausmus. “If he keeps going nine, it’s not going to resolve itself.”

Look for Fulmer’s place in the rotation to be skipped here and there as the Tigers enter the stretch run.

Max Fried loses to Braves in salary arbitration

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Pitcher Max Fried lost to the Atlanta Braves in salary arbitration and will make $13.5 million in the upcoming season instead of his $15 million request.

Mark Burstein, Fredric Horowitz and Jeanne Vonhof issued their decision a day after hearing arguments.

Fried won a $6.85 million salary last year in arbitration instead of the team’s $6.6 million proposal.

He followed former Atlanta teammate Dansby Swanson in going to a hearing in consecutive years. Swanson, a shortstop, lost in 2021 and won last year, then signed a seven-year, $177 million contract with the Chicago Cubs.

The last player to win hearings in consecutive years was pitcher Trevor Bauer against Cleveland in 2018 and 2019.

Fried, a 29-year-old left-hander, went 14-7 for the second straight season and lowered his ERA to 2.48 from 3.04 in 2021. Fried was a first-time All-Star last season, was second to Miami’s Sandy Alcantara in Cy Young Award voting and was third in the National League in ERA behind Alcantara and Julio Urias with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

In 2021, Fried pitched six shutout innings in World Series Game 6 as the Braves won their first title since 1995.