Detroit Tigers’ Jonathan Schoop arrives on scooter; Daniel Norris has ‘no hard feelings’

Detroit Free Press

Detroit Tigers second baseman Jonathan Schoop turned the corner near Miguel Cabrera’s locker and rolled into the clubhouse on a medical scooter supporting his sprained right ankle.

He is wearing a boot on his right foot.

The 30-year-old injured his ankle in Saturday’s 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Angels at Comerica Park. Schoop tried to avoid a tag at home plate — after being waved around third base by Ramon Santiago — and left the game.

“He doesn’t necessarily have to play on Tuesday, but he has to be progressing by Tuesday for us to avoid the injured list,” manager A.J. Hinch said before Sunday’s game. “He’s pretty emphatic that he’s going to be fine. He would never tell me anything different unless it was broken. So, we’ll see.”

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Schoop hopes he doesn’t need a trip to the injured list.

He won’t play Sunday’s series finale against the Angels. The Tigers have an off day Monday before a two-game series with the San Francisco Giants at Comerica Park. Then, the team has another off day Thursday.

“It’s swollen a little bit,” Schoop said. “I still feel it when I put my weight on it. It’s not broken, so that’s good news. I want to do everything I can to be out there. I’m trying to get the swelling down. In a couple days, I think I’ll be fine.”

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Schoop said Monday will be his final day with the scooter.

He plans to spend the off day getting treatment on his ankle.

“It happened when I tried to avoid the tag,” Schoop said. “My feet, if you see the replay, just went in. I felt it really bad. Normally, I’ll stay in the game. It was really bad. That’s why I couldn’t (keep playing).”

Norris’ vision

Left-hander Daniel Norris wants to operate in the starting rotation, but the 29-year-old isn’t sweating his latest move to the bullpen. After two starts for the Tigers, Hinch put him in a swingman role as a relief pitcher until further notice.

“I’m just happy to be here,” Norris said. “No hard feelings about that.”

Norris posted a 0.93 ERA with four walks, four hit-by-pitches and five strikeouts across 9⅔ innings. He completed 4⅔ scoreless innings Aug. 12 against the Chicago White Sox and five innings of one-run ball Aug. 17.

Briefly, Norris was a starter for the first time since 2019.

“The last couple years out of the bullpen was difficult for me to find that routine,” Norris said. “Starting my whole career up until the last couple years, I learned that routine and what worked for me. When you have to change the pace and learn something else on the fly, that’s where I was in between last year.”

Norris had a 6.16 ERA in 56 relief appearances last season. The Tigers traded him to the Milwaukee Brewers at the trade deadline. He became a free agent, signed with the Chicago Cubs and posted a 6.90 ERA in 27 games before he was released.

The Tigers signed him to a minor-league contract in late July.

“Last year, I was super caught in between,” Norris said. “I didn’t know what I was going to feel like every day. This year, I felt good out of the bullpen with the Cubs. I had a couple bad games that made it look bad, but I think I’ve made improvements.”

Two starts in August may have helped Norris find his groove, especially from a mental standpoint. Coming out of the bullpen over the past two years, he would feel the pressure to be perfect in a three-out situation. Walking a batter, even if he escaped, meant he had a bad outing.

In Norris’ two starts, he became confident adjusting between innings.

That helped Norris’ vision for his new role.

“Out of the bullpen, it’s just condensed pitch-to-pitch, batter-to-batter,” he said.

The Ohtani challenge

Before Sunday’s game, Hinch spoke at length about two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani. He is starting against left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez. 

Ohtani, the 2021 American League MVP, is batting .266 with 27 home runs in 116 games. He also has a 2.69 ERA with 28 walks and 165 strikeouts in 117 innings over 20 starts. The 28-year-old is having the best pitching season of his five-year MLB career.

“The challenge is really just to focus in on what you can do against him,” Hinch said. “He’ll make a mistake. He’s not perfect. But you got to be pretty locked in when you face a pitcher of his caliber. And I love the fact that we get to face him.”

Contact Evan Petzold at or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzoldRead more on the Detroit Tigers and sign up for our Tigers newsletter.

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