Norris passed his last test on Saturday, bouncing back from a nine-run, 13-hit outing at Atlanta on Monday. He returned to form on Saturday, throwing 2 2/3 innings, scattering five hits and giving up one run in a 3-2 loss to the Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium. Norris did not walk a batter, throwing 41 pitches (29 strikes).
He was told by Ausmus, as he came off the mound, that he would be the Tigers' No. 3 starter in the rotation.
"I know that they were waiting to see about my health," Norris said. "I was, too. I don't want to go out there if I'm not 100 percent and hurt the team."
After Verlander, The Tigers' rotation goes Zimmermann, Norris, Michael Fulmer, and Matt Boyd.
• Zimmermann sees better results once season starts
The life was back in Norris' pitches on Saturday.
"I felt great," he said. "The arm is back. The life is back. I wasn't too worried about results today. I think they just wanted to see life back on the ball. So I was very pleased with that. The other days was whatever you want to call it; fatigue or whatever, but I worked really hard in the training room to get back.
"Yesterday I came out and played catch and it felt really good; today I was throwing harder as the game went on, stuff was sharper."
Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Tigers on Saturday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.