Boyd uses inside fastball to his advantage

March 6th, 2016
Matt Boyd tossed three scoreless innings in the Tigers' 9-2 win over the Marlins. (AP)John Raoux/AP

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Rich Dubee took the Tigers' pitching-coach job with the philosophy of wanting his pitchers to work inside on hitters. Matt Boyd used the inside fastball as a goal of his on Sunday and made it work in Detroit's 9-2 win over the Marlins.

Boyd didn't shy away from the slider that he worked on this offseason. He used the fastball to set it up. Boyd threw three scoreless innings, allowing two line-drive singles but nothing else, striking out one batter and walking none.

"I was behind in the count last week," Boyd said. "It's hard to throw that slider when you're behind in the count. You get a feel for it, but you throw it and you're behind and you try to throw it again. Today, I was getting ahead better and worked that fastball off my glove side well, and at the same time, I was working on my slider well in some situations. I felt like I threw the ball well today."

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With the wind blowing in from left field at Joker Marchant Stadium, Boyd had some room to play with on fly balls. For the most part, though, he didn't need it. By changing speeds well and setting up locations on either side of the plate, he avoided some of the hard contact that got him last Tuesday against the Pirates.

The 25-year-old lefty induced a couple grounders on fastballs, set up by offspeed strikes with the previous pitch. He flipped breaking balls to start off hitters before going to the heat, then went the other way around. Most importantly, five days after a missed fastball inside cost him with a home run, he didn't miss.

"The time I got hurt last week was when I missed over the plate trying to go in," Boyd said. "I really had to work on that, work everything else off of going in. Throwing in sets up throwing that slider down and throwing the changeup away. They can't sit on it."

Greene gets the start Tuesday

Shane Greene said after his first outing of the spring that he wished the game could've started at 8 a.m. He'll settle for a 1:05 p.m. ET start next time around.

After Greene pitched in relief of Daniel Norrislast Thursday against the Braves, the two will swap spots for the next turn through the Tigers' rotation. Greene will start Tuesday against the Rays at Joker Marchant Stadium, with Norris following in relief.

Essentially, it's a piggyback start. Both had the same pitch range on Thursday, so it's basically a matter of who gets the traditional starting routine and who warms up once the game starts.

Sanchez still ailing

Anibal Sanchez was still hoarse and coughing on Sunday, but he worked out with the team a day after throwing a 25-pitch bullpen session.

Unless his health changes, Sanchez remains on track to throw another bullpen session in the coming days ahead of live batting practice.

"When I talked to him the other day, I was about six feet away from him," manager Brad Ausmus said. "They did tests on him. It just seems to be a chest cold."