June 21st, 2009
Ryan Perry is heading back to Triple-A Toledo, this time for a longer stay than his brief stop there a week and a half ago. The Tigers optioned out the rookie reliever after Sunday’s game.
No corresponding move was announced, but the move was as much about working with Perry as getting in another bullpen arm. The 22-year-old had encountered struggles over the past few weeks, which the Tigers hope they can address with a more regular workload with the Mud Hens.
Perry, Detroit’s first-round pick in last summer’s First-Year Player Draft, made the team out of Spring Training with a solid fastball that consistently hit the mid-90s to go with a biting slider. But he was a case of learning on the job, as he had less than a half-season of Minor League ball last year — with none of that experience coming above Class A.
From Opening Day, Perry’s stuff an impressed, with a fastball that touched the upper 90s and a biting slider. The issue was going to be control.
For the first two months, Perry overcame it, recording five holds while allowing six runs on 12 hits over 20 1/3 innings despite 16 walks. His six June outings, however, saw opponents score seven runs in as many innings on 12 hits with five walks and six strikeouts.
For the season so far, Perry is 0-1 with a 4.28 ERA, having allowed 24 hits over 27 1/3 innings with 21 walks and 25 strikeouts.
The Tigers optioned Perry to Toledo on June 8 to make room for Jeremy Bonderman’s return, but promptly brought back Perry once Bonderman went back on the disabled list four days later. Perry spent just a few hours in Toledo and didn’t pitch in a game there.
Jim Leyland confirmed Sunday morning that he’s going to tweak his rotation order later this week after the Cubs series. Justin Verlander will move up a spot after this start and pitch Friday at Houston instead of Saturday, which is where his turn would’ve otherwise fallen. He switches spots with Alfredo Figaro, who will pitch Saturday ahead of Edwin Jackson in Sunday’s series finale.
The move separates what had arguably been baseball’s best 1-2 combo this year. Verlander and Jackson had pitched back-to-back all year ever since Leyland had them start the first two games of the season, and their success — especially pitching deep into games — has allowed Detroit to keep its bullpen fresh for Rick Porcello’s starts after Jackson. However, the bullpen has been taxed by the back two spots in the rotation, and Leyland now has two rookie starters to watch, though Figaro is older and has pitched more innings than Porcello.
This Sunday’s lineup isn’t nearly as different as last Sunday, the one that featured a top three of Don Kelly, Ramon Santiago and Josh Anderson. All three are in the lineup, but not in that order. Santiago is back in the second spot to give Ramon Santiago a day off. Kelly is batting fifth again behind Marcus Thames, while Anderson bats seventh.
- Granderson, CF
- Santiago, 2B
- Cabrera, 1B
- Thames, DH
- Kelly, LF
- Inge, 3B
- Anderson, RF
- Laird, C
- Everett, SS
- Craig Counsell, 2B
- Casey McGehee, DH
- Ryan Braun, LF
- Prince Fielder, DH
- Frank Catalanotto, RF
- Mike Cameron, LF
- Mat Gamel, 3B
- J.J. Hardy, SS
- Jason Kendall, C
P: Yovani Gallardo