Lakeland, Fla. – Detroit Tigers right-hander Alex Wilson has been informed that he is no longer in the mix for a rotation spot. He’s going back to the bullpen.
“We called him in two days ago and told him he was going back to the pen in basically the same role he was in last year,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “He’s fine with that. He said he appreciated the opportunity to get some starts. He gets it. He understands.”
Wilson, who was not available in the clubhouse after the game, said from the outset that putting himself in the rotation fight was a no-lose situation for him. If he won a spot, great. If he didn’t, he’d go back to being one of the stalwarts in the bullpen.
“He’s done a really nice job for this ball club and he will be good in that role again,” Gardenhire said.
Wilson was sharp in his three innings of work Friday – especially the fourth and fifth innings. He got six straight outs, throwing 16 strikes out of 20 pitches.
He gave up a two-run home run to Wilmer Flores on a 1-2 pitch in the sixth inning. It was his only mistake.
The rotation battle now is down to seven pitchers. Michael Fulmer, Jordan Zimmermann, Matthew Boyd and Mike Fiers are projected to go north with the club. The battle for the fifth spot is down to left-handers Daniel Norris, Francisco Liriano and Ryan Carpenter.