Tigers set Opening Day roster
The Tigers don’t open their regular season until Tuesday night against the Marlins, but their Opening Day roster is set. Detroit officially purchased the contract of reliever Logan Kensing, then cut its roster to 25 Sunday by placing six players on the 15-day disabled list.
All of the DL moves had been Outfielder Cameron Maybin went on the DL with a fractured left wrist suffered on a Luis Severino fastball March 1.
- Left-hander Daniel Norris, who had been a leading candidate for the fifth starter spot going into Spring Training, is sidelined with a left lumbar spine fracture. He was diagnosed a week and a half ago with non-displaced fractures in his spinous process.
- Right-hander Alex Wilson, a workhorse in last year’s Tigers bullpen, was placed on the DL with right rotator cuff capsulitis. He was sidelined in late February with soreness in the back of his shoulder.
- Lefty Blaine Hardy, the primary southpaw in Detroit’s bullpen last season, went on the DL with a left shoulder impingement.
- Right-hander Angel Nesbitt, a part of last year’s Opening Day bullpen, goes on the DL with a right ankle sprain.
- Right-hander Jeff Ferrell, a midseason call-up to the Tigers bullpen last season, is sidelined with a right rotator cuff impingement.
All of the disabled list moves are retroactive to March 25, meaning each player becomes eligible to return as soon as next Saturday. None of them are expected to be ready for Major League action that soon, though manager Brad Ausmus said Wilson and Hardy could be the first to return.
“I think barring setbacks, most of the guys that are going on the DL will be back somewhere around the middle of April,” general manager Al Avila said Friday. “At least that’s the schedule. We like the team that we’re going to go north with, and we have some guys that are going to be coming back.”
The bullpen injuries created an opportunity for Kensing to become the surprise of camp. The 33-year-old right-hander reported to Spring Training as a non-roster invite on a minor-league contract, and becomes the final piece of a Tigers bullpen that includes nobody from last year’s Opening Day roster.
Nine players on Detroit’s Opening Day roster will be making their Tigers debuts, six of them pitchers. However, all 25 Tigers have already appeared in the Major Leagues.