Tigers fans braced for bad news after right-hander Jordan Zimmermann exited his first start since returning from the DL due to a potential lat injury, but an MRI came back clean, tweets MLB.com’s Jon Morosi. Detroit is optimistic that Zimmermann can avoid a return trip to the disabled list following the positive news, though yesterday’s six-run shellacking still comes with a fair amount of concern. Zimmermann now has a 7.30 ERA across his past 49 1/3 innings, which isn’t doing the Tigers any favors as they look to close a three-game gap for the division lead in the AL Central and a half-game deficit in the race for the second American League Wild Card slot.
A bit more from the division….
- Flying somewhat under the radar amid the considerable chatter surrounding Aaron Sanchez’s innings total is the workload of AL Rookie of the Year candidate Michael Fulmer, as MLB.com’s Jason Beck writes. In the case of Fulmer, however, his uncanny efficiency — he’d rank 10th in the league in terms of fewest pitches per inning if he qualified — has the Tigers more focused on limiting his pitch counts on a start-to-start basis than taking a more general approach and monitoring his innings. A 25 to 30 percent increase in innings would cap Fulmer, who has thrown 119 1/3 innings between Triple-A and the Majors, at between 155 and 162 innings, but his low pitch counts could allow him to exceed that count in the event of a lengthy postseason run for Detroit.
- Demoting struggling slugger Miguel Sano is a “real option” for the Twins, writes Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. The Twins will get Trevor Plouffe back from the disabled list after this weekend series, and Sano’s recent woes in the field have been difficult to ignore. Of course, the Twins certainly compounded the issue by moving Sano to the outfield in the first place when it was clear even after last season that he had some work to do on his defense at third base, and asking him to move back to third midseason after not taking many reps there since last year has indeed yielded ugly results. Sano has made 12 errors in 27 games at third base this year. “He’s trying to make the changes that he needs to make to where he can walk out of here every day saying he did what he could do that day to become a better player,” said manager Paul Molitor. “It doesn’t happen every day, I’m sure.”