LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Daniel Norris, who appears to be the odd man out of the Tigers' rotation until further notice, will start Friday against the Phillies in Lakeland, Fla.Norris pitched two good innings of relief on Saturday and was about to go out for a third when pitching
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Daniel Norris, who appears to be the odd man out of the Tigers' rotation until further notice, will start Friday against the Phillies in Lakeland, Fla.
Norris pitched two good innings of relief on Saturday and was about to go out for a third when pitching coach Chris Bosio pulled him as a precaution.
"That's probably the best I've felt this spring, as far as delivery tempo, comfort and not forcing any balls," said Norris, who assumed Bosio wanted to take no chances with a left groin strain that has been a lingering problem.
"I think he has that in mind," Norris said. "I would imagine because I had to miss three [bullpen sessions] at the beginning of camp."
The 24-year-old left-hander started 18 games and pitched four games in relief for Detroit in an injury-riddled 2017 season.
Manager Ron Gardenhire said early this week that only Michael Fulmer and newly acquired Francisco Liriano have claimed spots in the season-opening rotation.
:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::
Hits hard to come by
The Tigers didn't get a hit in Thursday's 8-1 loss to the Braves until Leonys Martin's ground-rule double with two outs in the sixth inning off reliever Arodys Vizcaino.
Mike Foltynewicz, who hasn't given up a run this spring, threw five hitless innings for Atlanta, striking out five.
Alexi Amarista drove in Detroit's run with an eighth-inning single, one of three Tigers hits.
Tiger closer Shane Greene, who has had only three innings of Spring Training work, is expected to pitch another inning on Friday.
Gardenhire said Greene has been working on mechanical issues away from the games.
"He's got a program," Gardenhire said. "He's been doing some stuff on the [back fields], and he's fine."
The Tigers reassigned infielders Harold Castro, Kody Eaves and Edwin Espinal and outfielder Jason Krizan to Minor League camp, leaving 37 players in big league camp.
That includes 16 pitchers. Gardenhire says the Tigers have yet to determine whether they will start the season with 12 or 13 pitchers.
Martin, having a very good spring as the Tigers' center fielder and leadoff hitter, said some training he did as a young Cuban boxer has helped his baseball career.
"I did a lot of running. My legs are 70 or 80 percent of my game," Martin said. "I tried to keep in shape and stay healthy. That's why I'm running a lot and doing a lot stretching.
"That's why my emphasis is on my lower body, to keep my legs in shape. It's 162 games. It's hard to stay healthy all year, but that's the point."
Dick Scanlon is a contributor to MLB.com.