Competition for fifth starting spot heating up for Tigers

Having options for your starting rotation is a good thing, and manager Brad Ausmus definitely has plenty of options. With Justin Verlander and Jordan Zimmermann locked in at the top of the rotation, and Anibal Sanchez and Mike Pelfrey likely pegged at the three and four spots, the competition for the fifth spot in the rotation is wide open.

Candidates for the last spot include Daniel Norris, and Shane Greene, with Matt Boyd, and Buck Farmer as possible dark-horses.

Norris had his most recent start the other day, and although he struck out three of the first four batters he faced, an elevated pitch count ended his day after two innings. Greene made his way into the game in the sixth inning, and ended up going four scoreless innings with six strikeouts, while allowing four hits.

Over the course of Spring Training, Norris has allowed nine hits and four runs in six innings, while Greene has allowed three runs on 10 hits in 8 2/3 innings.

Boyd has gone 8 2/3 innings, allowing 10 hits and five runs, and Farmer has allowed six hits and two runs in six innings.

Ausmus has been rather quiet about the competition for the fifth spot, only saying to that “I’m not going to split hairs. At some point, we’ll decide who the fifth starter is and you guys will be the fourth person to know.”

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