February 7, 2014 at 4:49 pm

Tom Gage

Tigers like Robbie Ray, but more than a No. 3 starter?

Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski said recently the club projects prospect Robbie Ray as a No. 3-type starter. (Marc Serota / Getty Images)

Gage’s 140 (words, not characters)

Ever since acquiring him, the Tigers have made it known they think highly of Robbie Ray’s potential.

A left-handed starter, Ray isn’t ready for the majors, but might not take long.

Let’s not make more of his future, however, than are the Tigers, as they stay far away from anointing Ray as a future ace.

Tigers president Dave Dombrowski praised Ray this week, but didn’t gush — saying “he projects for us to be a No. 3 type starter.”

Not higher?

Those who didn’t like the Doug Fister deal won’t like it any better hearing that.

There’s a wide range of No. 3’s, though. Justin Verlander, for instance, was a No. 3 starter last season.

Maybe it’s best simply to envision Ray as a solid starter — no numbers attached.

Calling him a No. 3 probably won’t please anyone.

tom.gage@detroitnews.com

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