The Detroit Tigers announced their starting rotation to start the season, and there was a bit of a surprise with former Mariner Doug Fister...

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LAKELAND, Fla. — The Detroit Tigers announced their starting rotation to start the season, and there was a bit of a surprise with former Mariner Doug Fister getting the nod over Max Scherzer for the home opener against the New York Yankees next Friday.

Scherzer is at the back of the rotation but doesn’t mind. The Tigers have been careful with him this spring due to the soreness he experienced last season in his right throwing shoulder.

“For me, Skip just tells me the day I pitch, I just show up,” Scherzer said. “It doesn’t matter. If you’re the fifth starter, you get the same amount of starts as the first starter. It’s really arbitrary. You guys get to have fun calling the numbers out. Call me the No. 5, I love it.”

Justin Verlander will start Monday’s opener at Minnesota, followed by Anibal Sanchez on Wednesday and Rick Porcello on Thursday.

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That sets up the Tigers to have Fister, Scherzer and Verlander against the Yankees at home.

“The significance of Fister throwing the home opener is he’s a strike-thrower — he works fast and he can put the ball in play,” manager Jim Leyland said. “He should be able to keep that game going, hopefully.”

Fister understands pitching the home opener is a big deal. If anything, it’ll give him less of a chance to soak up the scenery because he’ll be focused on the task at hand.

“It doesn’t go unnoticed, by any means,” Fister said. “It’s something I don’t take lightly, but it doesn’t change anything about how I approach a game. Whether it’s the first start or the last start, it’s all the same.

“It’s an honor and it’s a very humbling experience to pitch in front of the home fans.”

Fister was 10-10 with a 3.45 earned-run average last season.


• New York Mets pitcher Johan Santana is set for another shoulder surgery that he hopes will save his career.

The former ace will have surgery Tuesday to repair the re-torn anterior capsule in his pitching shoulder.

Santana is likely to miss the entire season for the second time in three years. The two-time Cy Young Award winner is in the final year of a $137.5 million contract.

Bob Turley, a hard-throwing right-hander who won the Orioles’ first home game, died of liver cancer early Saturday morning, according to his son, Terry Turley. He was 82.

Turley pitched one season for the Orioles in 1954, their first in Baltimore, and he started the first big-league game at Memorial Stadium. He was traded to the New York Yankees, with whom he won the Cy Young Award in 1958.

Turley left the Yankees in 1962, playing a season with the Los Angeles Angels and Boston Red Sox. In 12 seasons, he went 101-85 with a 3.64 ERA.

• Arizona completed a five-year, $32 million contract agreement with first baseman Paul Goldschmidt.

The contract runs through the 2018 season, with a $14.5 million club option for 2019.

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