Alexander has a 3.00 ERA, 0.89 WHIP and six strikeouts through nine Grapefruit League innings. Alexander has looked good this spring, and the lefty will definitely have a spot on the 26-man roster coming out of camp. The bigger question is what exactly his role will look like. Alexander has the flexibility to work as a starter and a reliever, and he did a little of both for the Tigers last season when he registered a 3.96 ERA across 36.1 innings. For now, he looks like more of a long reliever, but he could find himself in the rotation if other pitchers struggle or deal with injuries.
Alexander will start for the Tigers in their first Grapefruit League game Sunday, Jason Beck of MLB.com reports. Alexander is one of a handful of pitchers competing for a spot in the back of Detroit's rotation. The lefty made headlines last year when he set a MLB record with nine consecutive strikeouts in a game, and he finished the year with a solid 3.96 ERA across 14 games (two starts). The Tigers may continue to use him in more of a swing role, but Alexander is capable of decent numbers if he gets an extended look in the rotation.
Alexander (2-2) allowed a run on three hits across two innings to take the loss Friday against Cleveland. He walked two and struck out one. Alexander followed starter Michael Fulmer, who tossed three scoreless frames, and the former allowed the game's first run in his second inning of work. That was enough to saddle Alexander with the loss as Cleveland prevailed 1-0. The lefty now has a 4.01 ERA and will continue to work as a long reliever out of the Detroit bullpen, though he's capable of making a spot start if needed.
Alexander worked behind starter Jordan Zimmermann in the Tigers' 6-3 win over the Cardinals in the second game of Thursday's doubleheader. He tossed 1.2 innings and gave up two runs on three hits and two walks while striking out two. Alexander's previous appearance Sept. 4 had come in a starting role, but he shifted back to the bullpen with Zimmermann's return from a forearm injury providing Detroit with another healthy rotation arm. However, since Zimmermann had been sidelined all season before being activated Thursday, he was pulled after three innings (42 pitches), which allowed Alexander to piggyback him. Detroit should have a fairly normal schedule for the rest of the season with no more doubleheaders currently on tap, so Alexander could have fewer opportunities to work multiple innings.
Alexander allowed one run on seven hits over four innings in a no-decision against the Twins in the second game of Friday's doubleheader. He struck out four and did not issue a walk. The lefty did his best to quiet the Twins' offense, though he was limited to 59 pitches in the spot start and would not have earned the win even if the Tigers' bullpen hadn't squandered a late lead. Alexander made history earlier this season, tying the AL record for the most consecutive outs via strikeout by a reliever (nine), but his overall numbers are just OK and the swingman/long-relief role works against him in a big way from a fantasy standpoint.
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