Tigers to start top prospect Fulmer on Friday

Club undecided on permanence of promotion; Greene to DL with blister

Tigers to start top prospect Fulmer on Friday

DETROIT -- Top Tigers prospect Michael Fulmer is about to get his chance in the big leagues. Manager Brad Ausmus confirmed after Wednesday night's 9-4 win over the A's the club will call up the hard-throwing right-hander from Triple-A Toledo to start against the Twins on Friday night at Target Field in place of righty Shane Greene, who is being placed on the 15-day disabled list with a blister on his right middle finger.

Fulmer is ranked as the No. 1 prospect in the organization and the No. 50 prospect in the game, according to MLB Pipeline.

"This is the type of guy that, if he's on, especially if he has his location, he's going to give us a chance," Ausmus said.

Fulmer and left-hander Matt Boyd, who pitched 4 2/3 effective innings in relief of an injured Greene on Sunday, were the two candidates for Friday's start, Ausmus said previously. The decision, Ausmus said, came down in part to the Twins' lineup, which hasn't hit lefties as well so far this season but features a preponderance of right-handed hitters.

Fulmer, acquired from the Mets as part of the Yoenis Cespedes trade last July, competed for a spot in the Tigers' rotation and bullpen during Spring Training before being sent to Toledo, where he owns a 1-1 record and 4.11 ERA in three starts. He has walked five and struck out 20 over 15 1/3 innings, building off his Eastern League Pitcher of the Year campaign from last summer.

"I've talked with [Mud Hens manager] Lloyd McClendon a number of times about him, and I know he really likes him," Ausmus said. "I liked what we saw from him in Spring Training. He's certainly highly touted.

"He's got stuff, for sure. He throws 95 [mph] with a wipeout-type slider. But the big leagues is a little different. These guys have seen stuff like that before. So you do have to locate your pitches. But it certainly doesn't hurt to have that type of stuff in your arsenal."

By going on the DL, Greene will miss at least two starts. The Tigers haven't committed to Fulmer or anyone else for the next turn through the rotation next week.

"Really, there's no plan of pitching him anything other than Friday," Ausmus said. "We'll see how Friday goes and then decide after that."

If the need for Fulmer is short-lived, such a temporary move -- employed by the Rays with prospect Blake Snell last weekend -- is a relatively easy way for the Tigers to get Fulmer his first taste of Major League competition without saddling him with the pressure of holding onto a rotation spot.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.