Daniel Norris roughed up by Royals; Detroit Tigers lose 10-2 in bid for 2nd 3-game winning streak of season


DETROIT (CCN) — Daniel Norris surrendered two runs in the opening inning and two more in the 3rd inning as the Detroit Tigers were beaten 10-2 by the Kansas City Royals Sunday at Comerica Park in Detroit. The Tigers were bidding for their second three-game winning streak of the season and had won three of their last four.

Norris, who allowed only three runs in 15 1/3 innings with 16 strikeouts in July, left Sunday's game after only 3 innings of work  Manager Ron Gardenhire told reporters afterward, “I said from the first couple pitches, ‘Is he hurt?’ He was just out of whack.”

The nasty change-up pitch that worked so well in July was gone and Norris admits he just didn't have it on Sunday, saying, "I didn’t really have much working early on. I’ve been dealing with a little blister on my finger, and I’ve been trying to change my changeup grip to be conducive to throwing that. And I couldn’t really find it today, so they eliminated that. And then I left some fastballs middle, and I couldn’t get them off that because I couldn’t throw anything else for strikes.”

Niko Goodrum had two of Detroit's seven hits and drove in two runs, including one on a solo home run. It was his 11th of the season. Only Brandon Dixon (14) has more homers. Goodrum tied Jacoby Jones who is now out for the season after an injury this weekend. Goodrum's 44 RBI are only two behind team leader Miguel Cabrera's 46.

The Tigers have Monday off before hosting the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday at 7:10 pm in the first of a three-game series at Comerica Park.  Detroit is now 35-80 and one loss worse than the Baltimore Orioles in the race to avoid the worst record in Major League Baseball.

2020 schedule released by Detroit Tigers; Home opener set for March 30 at 1:30 pm against Kansas City Royals


 DETROIT (CCN) — Opening day for the 2020 season will be on the road for the Detroit Tigers. They announced their 2020 schedule on Monday when revealing that the home opener at Comerica Park is set for March 30 at 1:30 pm against the Kansas City Royals. 

The Tigers will open the season in Cleveland on March 26 which is their earliest start ever for a Major League Baseball season. It's the first time since 1976 that Detroit is opening in Cleveland. The Indians then go to Comerica Park for a four-game series after the Tigers are scheduled to play their first two home contests against Kansas City.

The 2020 schedule is highlighted by playing 18 times in their first 21 scheduled games against rivals in the American League Central Division where they're currently headed for a last-place finish for the second year in a row.  The inter-league play next season will see the Tigers facing off against National League West Division rivals in addition to their usual home-and-home series against the Pittsburgh Pirates (Aug. 18-19 in Pittsburgh and Sept. 8-9 in Detroit). The Tigers will visit Oracle Park in San Francisco for the first time since 2008 for a two-game series against the Giants on May 19-20. They will go to Arizona for a three-game series against the D-backs on May 29-31 and then visit Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles for the first time since 2014 for a three-game series there on June 19-21.

Tigers' No. 1 draft pick Riley Greene makes big splash in debut with West Michigan Whitecaps


GRAND RAPIDS (CCN) — Riley Greene had another impressive debut with his third minor league ballclub since becoming Detroit's No. 1 draft pick in the 2019. Greene, who was promoted to join the Class A West Michigan Whitecaps, made ESPN's "Top 10 Plays" segment with an inside-the-park home run and a spectacular diving catch in centerfield.

Greene had a two-hit night in his debut and drove in two runs at Fifth Third Ballpark in Grand Rapids. The Whitecaps lost 9-6 to Bowling Green.

The 18-year-old phenom was Florida's Gatorade Player of the Year as a senior and inked a contract with a $6.18 million signing bonus after the Tigers made him the No. 5 pick overall in June's Major League Baseball draft.

Greene  hit .351 in nine games at rookie league action with the Gulf Coast League Tigers before hitting .295 in low A-ball action with Connecticut where he played only 24 games. He made his rookie ball pro debut on June 24 in Florida with a pair of home runs, including an 8th inning grand slam. He also had a double in a 4-for-5 debut at TigerTown in Lakeland when driving in five runs and scoring twice in scorching 91-degree heat.

Greene led Team USA with 20 RBI and tied for the team lead with three home runs when leading the Americans to the Pan-American Championships last fall.


Tim Tebow's Triple-A baseball season over at Syracuse; Injury ends second straight campaign for Mets prospect


SYRACUSE (CCN) — TIm Tebow's minor league baseball season is over, according to a Newsday report. He will miss the rest of the season in Triple-A at Syracuse, marking the second summer in a row that his season has been cut short because of an injury. Tebow is in his fourth season with the New York Mets organization after he gave up on trying to make it back to the NFL.

The former Heisman Trophy winner from the Florida Gators led the NFL's Denver Broncos to a division championship as a rookie but was traded after the season to New York and was eventually released by two different NFL clubs before choosing to start a baseball career. He hadn't played any baseball since high school.

Tebow, who turns 32 next week, was an All-Star in Double-A ball a year ago in the Eastern League and earned a promotion to the Triple-A level, but has struggled offensively this year. He ends the 2019 campaign with a .163 batting average that included 98 strikeouts in 239 at bats.  Tebow hasn't played since suffering a cut on the pinky finger of his left hand on July 21. He fractured a right hamate bone in July last season.

Many felt Tebow had a good shot at reaching the big leagues in September when the Mets can expand to a 40-man roster because of his All-Star ways last year and his star appeal for merchandise sales. He has played to packed stadiums everywhere in the minors.

Many feel the injury could signal an end to baseball for Tebow who has been a TV analyst for ESPN on its college football coverage. He also became engaged earlier this year to former Miss Universe beauty pageant winner Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters.

Tigers' No. 1 2019 draft pick Riley Greene promoted to join West Michigan Whitecaps in Grand Rapids


GRAND RAPIDS (CCN) — Detroit's No. 1 draft choice in the June draft is moving up the ladder. Riley Greene has now been promoted to join the West Michigan Whitecaps in Grand Rapids. Only age 18 and drafted out of high school as the fifth pick overall, Greene hit .351 in nine games at rookie league action with the Gulf Coast League Tigers before hitting .295 in low A-ball action with Connecticut where he played only 24 games.

Greene signed with the Tigers on June 5 when getting a $6.18 million signing bonus to skip college and turn pro immediately. He made his rookie ball pro debut on June 24 in Florida with a pair of home runs, including an 8th inning grand slam. He also had a double in a 4-for-5 debut at TigerTown in Lakeland when driving in five runs and scoring twice in scorching 91-degree heat.

Many Major League Baseball scouts considered Greene as the top outfielder prospect in the 2019 draft.

 Greene starred for the USA Baseball 18U National Team that won a gold medal at the 2018 Pan-American Championships last fall before ending a brilliant high school career at  Hagerty High School where Greene hit .422 as a senior when named as the Gatorade Florida Baseball Player of the Year. Greene belted three homers in the Pam-Am Games with a .424 batting average and a team-high 20 RBI during the tournament.


Trevor Rosenthal brings heat in debut with Detroit Tigers Monday night in 8th inning with pair of strikeouts


CLEVELAND (CCN) — Ron Gardenhire wasted no time getting a look at the fastball of his newest pitcher. The Detroit Tigers' manager gave the ball to Trevor Rosenthal in the 8th inning and he struck out two of four batters he faced in a solid inning of work. His fastball was clocked at a high of a sizzling 99.6 mph.

He struck out Tyler Naquin swinging for his debut batter in a Tigers' uniform. Manager Gardenhire is hoping Rosenthal can return to his All-Star form as one of the game's most feared closers for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2014 and 2015 when he put up 93 saves. He shared closer duties in 2016 and 2017 before suffering an arm injury that required Tommy John surgery in August of 2017. The Cardinals released him in the off-season and he sat out 2018. He returned to baseball in 2019 with the Washington Nationals but allowed 16 earned runs in only 6 1/3 innings of work and was sent to their Double-A affiliate at Harrisburg. He didn't do much better there with a 5.79 earned run average in 10 games. 

The Tigers signed Rosenthal to a minor league deal six days after the Nationals let him go and he had worked only 5 1/3 innings at Toledo before getting Monday's call-up. It wasn't because he was mowing down hitters in Triple-A. His ERA was a whopping 10.13 in 6 outings. 

“Obviously first time out there with a new team, I’m trying to make a good first impression,” Rosenthal told reporters after Monday's debut with the Tigers. “It was probably good to get out there with (catcher John) Hicks and get my feet wet throwing to him for the first time.”

“We’ll take it,” Gardenhire told MLB.com after Monday’s 8-6 loss to the Indians. “We want to see what he can do," Gardenhire added. "(It was a) good start tonight.”