Ful­mer steady as strug­gling Tigers face un­cer­tain fu­ture

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS -

Ev­ery time the Detroit Tigers lose an­other game, the fran­chise moves a bit closer to a highly murky fu­ture. It’s hard to say what the ros­ter will look like a year from now — or even a month from now.

Amid all that un­cer­tainty, Michael Ful­mer has added some much-needed sta­bil­ity in the start­ing ro­ta­tion.

Af­ter win­ning Rookie of the Year hon­ours in 2016, Ful­mer has been one of the most de­pend­able pitch­ers in the Amer­i­can League so far this sea­son. He is Detroit’s lone rep­re­sen­ta­tive for the All-Star Game — even Miguel Cabr­era didn’t make it this time — and at age 24, he could be the player the Tigers even­tu­ally try to re­build around.

“Win­ning Rookie of the Year and go­ing to the All-Star Game are things you think about for your whole life. Once you get to this level, though, you don’t re­ally think of your­self in those sit­u­a­tions.

“You are just try­ing to win your next game,” Ful­mer said Sun­day. “I don’t think it will sink in un­til I get down there. It was great to have all my team­mates con­grat­u­late me. I knew they meant it.”

The Tigers ac­quired Ful­mer in 2015 when they traded Yoe­nis Ce­s­pedes to the New York Mets. While Daniel Nor­ris and Matthew Boyd — other pitch­ers Detroit ac­quired at the dead­line that year — have had their ups and downs, Ful­mer has con­sis­tently been good. He went 11-7 with a 3.06 ERA last sea­son, win­ning Rookie of the Year de­spite a late surge from Yan­kees catcher Gary Sanchez. This year, he’s 7-6 with a 3.19 ERA.

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