Following a sweep at the hands of the Cleveland Indians, the Detroit Tigers have now lost four in a row. Returning to Comerica Park, the club will look to rebound against the Texas Rangers. It has been a long season in Detroit, but Tigers progressing is always a welcome sight. They will look to continue progressing in Texas.
Daniel Norris Progression
Looking to salvage the final game of a three-game set, the Tigers turned to lefty Daniel Norris on Sunday. After allowing five runs in the second inning, Norris recovered to throw seven innings and record eight strikeouts.
While Detroit lost the game 8-3, it was another positive step in the development of the 25-year-old pitcher. In his sixth major league season, Norris’ career-high of 101.2 innings came in 2017. He has already thrown 80.2 in 2019.
Injuries have been an issue, but the biggest reason for the progress is Norris’ improved strike-throwing. Through 16 games (13 starts), he has posted a career-low 2.1 BB/9.
His K/9 rate of 7.4 is his lowest since 2015, but this is the result of an increased emphasis on quick outs. These quick outs have allowed Norris to pitch six-plus innings four times this season. For comparison’s sake, he failed to do this once in eight starts in 2018.
In what is no doubt a rebuilding year, Norris’ development is sign of optimism for the Tigers. If this progress continues, Norris and Matt Boyd can give Detroit a pair of lefties to build their rotation around moving forward.
Previewing series with Texas Rangers
On Tuesday, the Tigers open a three-game set with the Rangers at Comerica Park.
The Rangers have exceeded expectations in 2019 and are currently only a half-game back of the second Wild Card spot in the American League. Due to the Houston Astros‘ recent slump, the club is within striking distance in the AL West at six-and-a-half games back.
This will be Chavez’s fifth start of the season. However, this one will be a little different. In his previous four starts, Chavez served as an ‘opener.’ Taking the rotation spot of the recently DFA’d Drew Smyly, this will be a traditional start for the versatile veteran.
Zimmermann will be making his second start back after spending nearly two months of the injured list because of an elbow injury. In his first start back on June 19, the right-hander allowed three earned runs over four innings in a no-decision against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
In two career starts vs. the Rangers, Zimmermann is 1-1 with a 2.25 ERA.
Down On The Minors: Jeimer Candelario Hitting At Toledo
After a very slow start to the season, the Tigers optioned third basemen Jeimer Candelario to Triple-A Toledo in an attempt to increase his confidence.
Through 19 games, this move appears to be working and Candelario joins the list of Tigers progressing.
Candelario is slashing .355/.437/.645 at Triple-A. On Sunday, he went 4-4 with a three-run home run in a 7-1 win over the Rochester Red Wings.
With the Tigers currently 21 games under .500, Candelario will be back up with the big club in the near future.