Drew Smyly heading to the disabled list with a blister on his pitching hand left a vacancy in the rotation for Saturday's start against the Colorado Rockies, but apparently the Tigers had the perfect guy ready to fill it: Doug Fister.
Manager Jim Leyland announced Thursday morning that — after feeling fine following a full, 60-pitch bullpen session on Wednesday — Fister would return from his second stint on the disabled list to make Saturday's start. Through Thursday, Fister has spent a total of 42 days on the disabled list already this season with a costochondral strain, allowing him to make just six starts so far.
Fister is 0-3 with a 3.15 ERA in 34 1/3 innings pitched.
Casey Crosby's win against the Indians on May 7 was the first 'W' the Tigers had gotten out of a starter who took Fister's turn in the rotation. Before that, the team was 1-9 when starting either Fister (0-3 personal record), Adam Wilk (0-3) or Crosby in that spot.
While the news on Fister comes at a perfect time, don't think he was rushed by the medical staff to get back in time for this particular start. The team had originally thought he might be ready to come off the DL midweek, but pushed it back when he was sore last weekend.
And this time around, they were taking no chances.
"Who knows? Maybe we were too quick with Fister. You saw what happened there. I’m done with taking those types of risks," Leyland said last week. "Every wanted him back and everyone means well, and the trainers, Dave, the players and I’ve been put on the spot."