Tigers option Warwick Saupold to Toledo; will activate Mike Fiers from DL

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Mike Fiers will (presumably) make his team and season debut for the Detroit Tigers on Sunday against the Chicago White Sox. Detroit has elected to option long reliever Warwick Saupold down to Triple-A Toledo to accommodate Fiers’ return.

Saupold has already logged 3.1 innings out of the bullpen in four games this season, allowing three hits and a base on balls. His most recent appearance came on Thursday in relief of starter Jordan Zimmermann. Saupold inherited a runner left on base by Zimmermann, giving up a triple and allowing that run to score.

The 28-year-old Aussie appeared in 45 games last season for the Tigers, posting a 4.88 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP in just under 63 innings of work.

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There was speculation earlier in the week that Fiers would be activated from the disabled list sometime this weekend. He will toe the slab on Sunday in the series finale against Chicago.

The more intriguing aspect of this roster move for the Tigers is that they are opting to keep lefty Daniel Norris with the big league club. For as much speculation as there was with Fiers returning, it was more speculated that Norris would be the fall man and the team would send him back to Toledo.

Norris made his season debut in the Tigers’ 9-7 extra-inning win on Thursday, pitching 3.1 innings of relief, allowing just one run on two hits and a walk, punching out six batters. Detroit is still trying to find a consistent role on the roster for the 24-year-old. The ideal situation is to have him take the ball every fifth game but manager Ron Gardenhire has said he’ll serve as a long man in the bullpen to build up his innings.

Detroit (3-4) won their second consecutive game on Saturday, downing the White Sox 6-1 and now have a chance to earn their first series sweep of the season on Sunday afternoon.