By: Will Burchfield
Michael Fulmer, the Tigers’ new ace, has yet to meet Chris Bosio, the Tigers’ new pitching coach.
But in conversations over the phone, Fulmer has loved what he’s heard.
“The thing that impressed me about him was he’s already watching video of all of our pitches and he’s already trying to help me on my slider,” Fulmer told 97.1 The Ticket, chuckling at Bosio’s enthusiasm. “He was telling me over the phone about how I was doing this instead of that.”
Bosio also had some throwing exercises for Fulmer to try as he continues rehabbing his elbow following nerve translocation surgery in September. The 24-year-old has every intention of being back on the mound by spring training, and Bosio has every intention of helping him get there.
“I haven’t even seen the guy, he’s never seen me pitch in person, but he’s watched video,” said Fulmer. “He’s done his research on a bunch of guys.”
That includes fellow starters Daniel Norris and Matthew Boyd. Fulmer has kept in touch with both of them throughout the offseason, and knows they’ve received some early feedback from Bosio as well.
The Tigers hired Bosio in November shortly after he was let go by the Cubs. He played a key role in turning around Chicago’s pitching staff over his six-year tenure with the team, most notably unlocking the ace in Jake Arrieta, and the Tigers are hoping he can do something similar in Detroit.
Their pitching staff had the worst ERA in the majors in 2017.
A bounceback in 2018 will start with Fulmer, the burly, hard-throwing righty. He was shut down early last season to fix the nerve issue in his elbow, but posted a 3.83 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP in 22 starts. He also led the AL with 0.7 HR/9.
Friday will mark four months since the date of Fulmer’s surgery. He said his recovery is ahead of schedule.
“Everything’s going fantastic. … Should get on the mound here in a week or so. I’ve had zero setbacks or worries or anything like that,” said Fulmer. “Letting the ball go from 120 feet and not having any hesitation, so I feel like I’m super healthy right now.
“Already down here in Lakeland, hitting the gym hard and trying to get everything going for the season.”
Somewhere studying film, Bosio is doing the same.