Fulmer to make second start in Greene's spot

Tigers' top prospect to go in Thursday's finale vs. Tribe after winning debut; righty cautious with blister

May 3rd, 2016

CLEVELAND -- While Shane Greene began a throwing program Tuesday to test out his previously blistered right middle finger, the Tigers turned back to top prospect Michael Fulmer to fill his rotation spot once more. Fulmer will start Thursday night's series finale against the Indians at Progressive Field.

"We felt like he earned another chance," manager Brad Ausmus said Tuesday afternoon.

Fulmer held the Twins to two runs on seven hits over five innings to earn the win in his Major League debut Friday at Target Field, walking one and striking out four. His first few innings showed the power fastball and devastating slider that earned him recognition as the Tigers' top prospect going into Spring Training -- and earned him consideration for an Opening Day roster spot -- before he fell behind hitters in his final inning.

It has not yet earned him a full-time rotation spot, but a second start at least affords him the opportunity to test out what he learned from his first outing.

"The most important thing at the Major League level is experience," Ausmus said, "so any experience he can have here is certainly helpful."

While experience toughens up Fulmer's game, Greene is going about the process of toughening his finger, where the blister popped just over a week ago. He played catch Tuesday without a cover on his finger for the first time since the injury.

"Everything felt really good," Greene said. "The issue is just letting it heal. So we'll see how it responds tomorrow and go from there."

Greene's goal is to be ready to pitch when he's eligible to return from the 15-day disabled list next Tuesday, but he's not going to risk a setback to do it. Ausmus isn't ready to reveal any timetable.

"It's too early for me to tell you," he said wryly.

However, Ausmus said, he expects Greene to slot back into the rotation when he comes off the DL.