His career 8.5 K/9 might suggest otherwise, but Mike Fiers relies heavily on deception ahead of power: his fastball sits in the low-90s and is aided by an unusual delivery and arm angle which work to hide his release point. Unfortunately, Fiers hasn't been able to deceive opposing hitters as much in recent years, as he's allowed 1.6 HR/9 over the last two seasons -- a disturbing trend in one of baseball's most prolific homer eras. The right-hander also experienced an uptick in walks last season, with his BB/9 rate leaping from 2.2 BB/9 to 3.6. The Astros, with a plethora of capable starting options, declined to tender Fiers a contract for 2018. The 32-year-old will get a chance to start again after signing with the Tigers, and his diverse arsenal can still guide him through occasional periods of success, but chasing Fiers' good starts will likely prove detrimental.
Fiers is unlikely to be ready for start of the regular season and is likely to begin the year on the disabled list, Dick Scanlon of MLB.com reports. Previous reports indicated this was a possibility, and now it sounds much more certain, as confirmed by manager Ron Gardenhire. "Just guessing, but we're probably going to need a little more time for him," he said. If Fiers isn't ready to start the year, Daniel Norris will likely grab a spot in the rotation, and he could hold onto it even after Fiers is healthy if he performs well in the early going.
Fiers (back) could begin the regular season on the disabled list, George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press reports. Fiers was scratched from his Grapefruit League start Tuesday due to back stiffness, and prior to that, he had allowed 12 runs in 11.1 innings of work this spring. If Fiers isn't ready to start the season, Daniel Norris could snag a spot in the rotation, and there's no guarantee that Fiers would get the spot back when he's healthy due to his poor performance to date.
Fiers has been scratched from Tuesday's start against the Yankees with back stiffness, Chris McCosky of The Detroit News reports. Fiers has given up 12 runs in 11.1 innings so far this spring. His status for Opening Day is uncertain, and even if he's healthy he's not a lock for the Tigers' fifth starter job, which could go to Daniel Norris instead.
Fiers has given up 12 runs on 10 hits and eight walks across 11.1 innings this spring and has been struggling in part due to back stiffness, Chris McCosky of The Detroit News reports. Although Fiers has been shelled so far through four starts, the Tigers are not going to shut him down anytime soon. He came into camp with a back issue, and it's seemingly caused him problems during his spring training appearances. Detroit is planning on having the vet throw against minor-league hitters for his next start to take some pressure off. Pitching coach Chris Bosio is unsure whether Fiers will be ready for Opening Day, and the club plans on taking it day-by-day with him.
Fiers, who has a 9.53 ERA and 7:8 K:BB through 11.1 innings so far this spring, could be at risk of getting bumped from the rotation to begin the year, Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports. Fiers was brought in to be a veteran presence in Detroit's rotation, but his results so far have him on the bubble. Daniel Norris, who appeared to be on the outside looking in at the beginning of camp, has outpitched Fiers with a 9:1 K:BB in nine Grapefruit League innings. However, manager Ron Gardenhire didn't sound like he was ready to make a change immediately. "We're planning on (Fiers) being in," he said. "With him, we'll give him a little more leeway than we will with the other guys. We trust him. We know he knows how to pitch, we've seen him do it." Fiers will probably still break camp in the rotation, but he figures to be on a very short leash if his struggles continue.