Detroit — The debate, for now, is over.
Daniel Norris is staying.
“We want to use him,” manager Ron Gardenhire said before the game Saturday. “I talked to Boz (pitching coach Chris Bosio) about this. We'll get through this and try to figure his next start.
“But we're going to use him out of the bullpen, multiple innings, rather than bounce a kid up and down (to Triple-A). He's part of our baseball team. We are going to leave it like that for now.”
It was just three days ago Gardenhire contemplated the pros and cons of keeping Norris in a long-relief role vs. sending him to Toledo and let him start every five days.
“We are trying to get this thing righted, to where we are using (Norris) correctly,” Gardenhire said then. “We all said you have to have starting pitching and he’s one of them. We will see how it goes along.”
On Thursday, Bosio put the ball in Norris’ court.
“I don’t know if Daniel Norris is a going to be a starter or reliever,” Bosio said. “Daniel Norris will tell us based on his performance. These guys make our decisions for us based on how they play…Ultimately, they force our hand based on how they perform. It’s always been that way.”
Norris made a spot start in the nightcap of the double-header Friday and pitched well. He went 4.2 innings (85 pitches) and allowed just a run and three hits.
“I talked to Boz after the fact and that's exactly what was said on how we're going to do it,” Gardenhire said, of the decision to keep Norris in the bullpen. “We will mix in our spots (to use him) and go from there. We're going to use him. He's doing fine. His arm is good. He feels good.
“He's one of the best pitchers here. So, we will have him here.”