The Tigers’ success this season undoubtedly will hinge on its rotation, and its mix of veterans and young starters.
CBS Sports expects young starter Daniel Norris to carry his weight, naming the Tigers’ left-hander Tuesday to its six-player “Breakout Brigade.”
In a nutshell, the “Breakout Brigade” is a collection of players who are no longer rookies, and who have yet to make “the leap” to having a big season. But they’re in position.
That’s Norris, writes Jonah Keri of CBS Sports. Norris made 14 appearances last season, including 13 starts, compiling a 3.38 ERA and 1.40 WHIP. He went 4-2, with 71 strikeouts in 69 1/3 innings.
“The path to success from here might simply come down to health,” Keri writes. “Norris fought through thyroid cancer two years ago, then eased back into the fold in 2016, splitting time between Triple-A and the majors while hitting the DL two more times.
“Taking the ball 30 times this season could help Norris iron out some inconsistency when it comes to his splits too: Right-handed batters smacked him for a .290/.332/.469 last year, though that came after Norris posted reverse splits in the first 662/3 innings of his big-league career. A fastball-dominant lefty, Norris’ secret to consistent results could lie with his change-up: Right-handed hitters have feasted on the pitch so far in his young major-league career, but it was an effective weapon against righties in the minors.”
Norris, 23, has pitched in 22 games in parts of two seasons with the Tigers, coming over from the Toronto Blue Jays in a July 2015 trade for David Price — a deal that also netted Matthew Boyd, the Tigers’ likely No. 5 starter this season.