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Tigers hold off on decision for Norris' return

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News

Detroit — Still no decision on Daniel Norris.

Norris, coming back from an oblique strain, threw 67 pitches in his rehab stint at Toledo Monday. The Tigers are concerned about trying to stretch him to 85 pitches in a big-league start.

For his part, Norris believes he’s ready.

“Personally, I don’t think (I need another rehab start),” he said. “But it’s obviously up to them. I think I threw 67 pitches, and they wanted 70-75. But it isn’t a huge difference. But obviously it’s up to them. I feel ready, though.”

Norris was pulled after four innings Monday. He said he still felt strong and lobbied to go back out for the fifth.

“After the fourth inning, they’re like ‘Hey, you’re done. That’s it,’” Norris said. “I was like, ‘Hey, I’d like to go back out, and throw a few more pitches.’ He was like, ‘No, that’s pretty much just one more batter. You’ll be fine.’ I didn’t argue too much.”

Ausmus explained the organization’s caution.

“If he goes out there and the guy has a 15-pitch at-bat or something, you don’t want to pull him in the middle of an at-bat,” he said. “You err on the side of caution with a guy coming off an injury.”

Especially a left-handed starter as important to the Tigers’ playoff push as Norris, who injured the same oblique twice in 10 months.

“He pitched well and he felt good,” Ausmus said. “His velocity was good and he feels good today. We’re not concerned about the injury so much anymore. We just making sure his pitch count is high enough to give us a start.”

Ausmus also indicated the team wanted to wait until after Anibal Sanchez made his start Tuesday night to make the decision.

“Everything plays into it,” he said. “It’s all inter-related. We will have a decision tomorrow.”

Kinsler honored

Ian Kinsler was named the Tigers’ Heart and Hustle Award winner, an honor bestowed by the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association. The award is voted on by former players and represents active players who demonstrate a passion for the game and best embody its values, spirit and tradition.

Twitter: @cmccosky