Detroit Tigers: Shortened season means a healthy Michael Fulmer returns

The Detroit Tigers will benefit in terms of their starting rotation due to the delayed start and shortened season, Michael Fulmer will be ready.

As the Detroit Tigers look to get a shortened season underway in the coming weeks, Michael Fulmer should be able to join the rotation. The 2019 season left Fulmer on the shelf having to undergo Tommy John Surgery and sit on the sidelines for over a year.

Fulmer is nearing the point where he is ready to go with a clean bill of health, but Spring Training 2.0 has not started up yet. With the latest plan to get things off the ground running in Major League Baseball, Fulmer gets extra time to prepare and rehab from his injury.

Luckily, even with the crisis of COVID-19 that is continuing, Fulmer is still in Lakeland rehabbing and working with the team officials that he can. Fulmer is working with team health officials to make sure that he will be able to stay within his original timetable to return of 14-16 months.

Just knowing that Fulmer is nearing the point where he can throw live bullpens is nice, the issue is that he does not have hitters to throw to due to the pandemic.

If Fulmer can get some rehabbing in, get back into the swing of things there is no stopping him from returning to the rotation.

The way things stand right now, Fulmer can jump into the rotation and look to bounce back to the pitcher he was in 2016 when he was American League (AL) Rookie of the Year. If he does return to the rotation he has every chance to take Iván Nova‘s spot in the rotation.

The way things stand, Matthew Boyd is the ace, with Daniel Norris, Nova, Spencer Turnbull, and Jordan Zimmermann fill out the rest of the rotation. Zimmermann should be replaced but will not be, and Nova is the likelier of the two to head to the bullpen when Fulmer returns.

Fulmer last pitched in 2018, tossing 132.1 innings pitched with a 3-12 record. He produced a 4.69 ERA, a 1.32 WHIP, and struck out 110 batters in the process. So as much as fans want baseball back and want to see the Tigers players on the field again, there is some good in the time off.

The Tigers rebuild might be getting harmed in the process, but Fulmer should be able to return to the rotation in the short-run rather than long-run which bodes well for the team. It does, however, create a logjam for Tigers prospect pitchers looking to have a breakthrough season.

The Detroit Tigers are not on the field yet, but when they do, Michael Fulmer will be close to, if not ready to join the teams’ rotation once more.