Another hit to Tigers rotation: Tyson Ross goes on IL with ulnar neuritis
Minneapolis — The Detroit Tigers have lost yet another starting pitcher.
The Tigers on Sunday placed Tyson Ross on the injured list with ulnar neuritis in his right elbow. Four of the Tigers’ original starting five are now on the IL — including Michael Fulmer and Matt Moore, who are out for the season.
“It came on in my last start,” said Ross, who is three years removed from Thoracic Outlet surgery. “I woke up the next day hoping it was feeling better, but it wasn’t. After a couple of days of treatment it hasn’t improved.
“So we wouldn’t be on track for my next start.”
Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said Ross felt numbness in his fingers, but Ross wouldn't specify the location or the sensation.
"Just felt weird," he said.
He did say, though, it wasn’t related to his surgery.
“This is something new,” Ross said. “Anytime you go on the IL, it’s a concern. I just hope it can be a short stint and I can get back out there.”
The injury leaves the Tigers in a bind. Daniel Norris, who got the win against the Twins Sunday, and Ryan Carpenter — unofficially the Nos. 6 and 7 starters in the organization coming out of spring training — are already in the rotation.
At Triple-A Toledo, both Beau Burrows and Kyle Funkhouser have struggled and are coming off injuries. The Tigers called up Gregory Soto from Double-A Erie to make a spot start here on Saturday, and he was hit hard.
The next man up from Toledo would be lefty Matt Hall.
“We’re working on it,” Gardenhire said. “We’ve got to find someone. We’ve got a couple of holes here.”
The Tigers have been among the teams that scouted veteran free agent right-hander James Shields. The 37-year-old spent the last three seasons with the White Sox, where he compiled a 16-35 record, a 5.31 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP.
The Tigers will need to make a decision on Ross’ replacement by Wednesday, which was his next turn in the rotation.
The ball Nelson Cruz hit in the sixth inning caromed off Daniel Norris' left forearm. As head athletic trainer Doug Teter rushed out to the mound, Norris wouldn't even look at him.
He kept his back to him for a minute, then engaged catcher John Hicks. He hadn't finished a sixth inning since 2017. He wasn't coming out.
"I've come out of so many games with injuries, I get anxious," Norris said. "I tried to tell him it didn't hit me. But I actually got hit twice, in both forearms. But they have to get hits to knock me out of a game."
Norris, in his fifth start, pitched 6 1/3 innings and allowed two runs with five strikeouts. It was arguably his best start in two years. He threw 41 four-seam fastballs between 90 and 92.5 mph. He also dusted off his rarely-used two-seam fastball 16 times.
"I hadn't seen that until the bullpen before the game," catcher John Hicks said. "I liked it and we used it. It was running away from right-handers."
Norris tweaked his delivery before the third inning and the result was more life and more zip on his fastball.
"I found the delivery I was using in spring training," Norris said. "It helped give me an uptick in velocity. I'm not sure why I got away from it but it helps me get over my front side and I was getting swings and misses with my fastball.
"Obviously, I need to keep with that."
Also after the game, the Tigers announced that second baseman Josh Harrison will be activated off the injured list (shoulder) on Monday and be available to play against the Astros.
Harold Castro was optioned back to Toledo to make room for him.
Harrison is hitting just .156 in 22 games.
Around the horn
Closer Shane Greene is now 15 for 15 in save opportunities this season, and his save streak is at 19 going back to last season. His last blown save was Sept. 8 at St. Louis. It's the longest save streak since Francisco Rodriguez saved 19 straight in 2016.