THE RO­TA­TION

The Detroit News - - TIGERS -

The con­tes­tants: Jor­dan Zim­mer­mann, Michael Ful­mer, Matthew Boyd, Tyson Ross, Matt Moore, Daniel

Nor­ris, Ryan Carpenter and Spencer Turn­bull.

The skinny: Zim­mer­mann and Ful­mer come to camp healthy af­ter off­sea­son surg­eries (core mus­cle and menis­cus, re­spec­tively), and Boyd re­turns af­ter be­ing the club’s best starter in 2018. The Tigers signed Ross, a nine-year veteran com­ing off his first full sea­son in three years, to a $5.75 mil­lion deal and he will be given ev­ery chance to stay in the ro­ta­tion.

The bat­tle: Bar­ring in­jury, the real fight is for the fi­nal spot. Moore and Nor­ris, a pair of left-han­ders, are the pri­mary con­tes­tants en­ter­ing camp. Moore, en­ter­ing his ninth sea­son, spent most of last sea­son in the bullpen with the Rangers and has mostly floun­dered since his All-Star sea­son in 2013. Nor­ris, healthy af­ter groin surgery cur­tailed his 2018 sea­son, has a mi­nor-league op­tion left and could be on an in­nings limit this year. Turn­bull, who made a strong first im­pres­sion last sea­son, and Carpenter are ex­pected to start the sea­son in Toledo. The wild card: Turn­bull showed with his per­for­mance last Septem­ber that his stuff and his tem­per­a­ment play at the big-league level. He could end up play­ing a big role with the Tigers.

The fore­cast: The Tigers likely will start the sea­son with both Moore and Ross in the ro­ta­tion. In a per­fect world, one or both will be this year’s ver­sion of Mike Fiers — play­ers on one-year deals who per­form well enough to be flipped for prospects be­fore the trade dead­line. The­o­ret­i­cally, Moore and Nor­ris could work out of the bullpen. But as you will see in the next item, it’s crowded there and the Tigers don’t have much depth in the ro­ta­tion. end up be­ing a com­pe­ti­tion too, be­tween Greene and Jimenez. Other play­ers may en­ter the bullpen fray, too, like right-han­ders Bryan Gar­cia (who is ex­pected to re­turn from Tommy John surgery in May), Zac Hous­ton, Paul Voelker, John Schreiber and Chris Smith.

Robin Buck­son/Detroit News

Tigers man­ager Ron Gar­den­hire says com­pe­ti­tion will be health­ier this spring than in his first camp.

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