Detroit Tigers: How to use Daniel Norris as a part of the 2021 pitching staff

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports /

The Detroit Tigers have to decide what the best way to use Daniel Norris effectively is going to be for the 2021 season. As the 2021 season comes into focus, the team’s pitching staff should start to take shape.

Heading into his seventh season wearing the old English “D,” Norris will look to figure out his role with the 2021 pitching staff. With a new pitching coach, Chris Fetter, calling the shots on player development and working with these pitchers things should be changing for the better.

When Tigers’ newly announced manager, A.J. Hinch, brought in Fetter from the University of Michigan to be the organization’s pitching coach, things changed for the better. He is a youthful and analytical mind that is helping shape this pitching staff and will continue to do so when he can work with the guys in Spring Training prior to 2021.

With Fetter working his magic, Norris should be able to wind up being a very valuable piece of this pitching staff, whether it be in the rotation or as a long-relief option for the Tigers.

The question is: Where will the Detroit Tigers choose to use Daniel Norris, so he is used most effectively?

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The Detroit Tigers will have to decide where to put Daniel Norris during the 2021 season, and it seems like he would be best served as a left-handed long reliever that comes out of the bullpen.

The 27-year old has spent six years with the Tigers after coming to Detroit in a trade with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Since then, Norris has battled through some adversity but found his way into the Tigers’ rotation as well as spending some time in the bullpen.

He should be able to work with Fetter to be a more than effective relief option who makes spot-starts.

In 2020, Norris appeared in 14 games, making just one start. He would total 27.2 innings on the mound, where he had a 3.25 ERA, a 1.16 WHIP while punching out 28 opposing hitters. The southpaw has been effective, and the hope should be that he can continue this in 2021.

Since the Tigers signed starting pitcher José Ureña this offseason, which adds some competition for a rotation spot, but Norris should be fine with a bullpen-concentrated role. The Tigers also have Michael Fulmer back for 2021, which means even more competition for a rotation spot.

Fulmer may not be able to be a long-term six or seven-inning guy which leaves an opportunity to utilize Norris. If the Tigers want to maximize use from Norris, they should start Fulmer for three, four, or five innings and then let Norris take over and dominate one time through the order.

The Detroit Tigers have options for their pitching staff in 2021; they need to be smart with Norris, maximize his efficiency and hope to get three or more innings out of him in a long-relief role. But also, not ruling out a spot start here and there.

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Daniel Norris will be effective for this organization in 2021. The Detroit Tigers just need to use him correctly, and Chris Fetter should help foster this efficiency and make it happen.