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The Tigers are going to have to limit their best pitcher’s innings pretty soon

Detroit Tigers v Texas Rangers

ARLINGTON, TX - AUGUST 14: Michael Fulmer #32 of the Detroit Tigers throws against the Texas Rangers in the fifth inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on August 14, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

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Michael Fulmer has had a fantastic rookie year. He’s 10-3 in 19 starts and leads the American League in ERA at 2.25. Yesterday he tossed a complete game shutout. The Tigers -- five games out on the AL Central, a game and a half back in the Wild Card -- would be in big trouble without him. They’re going to have to be without him at least a little bit, however, because of his workload.

Yesterday Tigers manager Brad Ausmus acknowledged that Fulmer’s workload is becoming an issue. He’s at 120 innings on the season now, after pitching 124.1 innings across three levels in 2015. There is more strain in the bigs, of course, and the season still has a month and a half to go, including a possible playoff appearance by Detroit. Yesterday Ausmus said “He’s making it exceedingly difficult for us to keep his innings down,” said Ausmus. “If he keeps going nine, it’s not going to resolve itself.”

Look for Fulmer’s place in the rotation to be skipped here and there as the Tigers enter the stretch run.

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