Tigers to get by with short bullpen
As pointed out earlier, the Tigers’ move to make room for Aubrey Huff on the 25-man roster was to go a man short in the bullpen, optioning reliever Eddie Bonine to Triple-A Toledo. That leaves the Tigers with six relievers and an 11-man pitching staff. In the past, Leyland has said he would rather to with 13 pitchers than 11.
The way Leyland made it sound, however, it probably won’t be a long-term move.
“We’ll play that by ear,” Leyland said. “This could be a day-to-day thing.”
It won’t be something that lingers past August, since the Tigers will have an expanded roster Sept. 1. But that probably isn’t what Leyland means. With Casey Fien, Freddy Dolsi and Clay Rapada still on the 40-man roster, plus Nate Robertson and Jeremy Bonderman on rehab assignments, Detroit has enough available pitchers to shuttle back and forth if need be whenever Leyland feels like he needs that extra arm.
Players who are optioned to the Minors must remain there for at least 10 days before being recalled to the big leagues, barring an injury replacement.
That said, Bonine didn’t pitch at all after coming up from Toledo last Friday, and Chris Lambert was barely pressed into action. So it’s not like the spot for the last reliever in the bullpen was that valuable recently.