Tigers' latest pitching conundrum
OK, here’s what we know about the Tigers’ pitching situation:
- Jarrod Washburn’s left knee injury is more than just simple soreness. It’s now swelling, and it isn’t getting any better. And as it is now, he can’t pitch through it, leaving his next turn Sunday at Minnesota unlikely.
- Because the Tigers don’t have an off-day until Monday, and Eddie Bonine would seem unlikely to start again on short rest, the Tigers can’t simply skip the spot for a turn.
- Armando Galarraga is now available to pitch out of the bullpen, but he said the inflammation in his right elbow most likely won’t allow him enough pitches in an outing to start again this year.
- Nate Robertson felt fine moving around Tuesday after three days of rest following his diagnosis of pelvic inflammation. He’ll try to throw a short side session Wednesday. If he can, he figures he’ll be available in the bullpen. Of course, that plan came before Washburn’s setback Tuesday night.
- Zach Miner pitched effectively for two innings Tuesday, but manager Jim Leyland wanted to stop him there so that he could be available in the coming days. However, Leyland said, “Zach will remain in the bullpen.”
- Jeremy Bonderman, the only other pitcher in the Tigers bullpen with recent starting experience, isn’t stretched out to start.
- Leyland said he has no idea who will start Sunday, but planned to discuss his options with coaches Wednesday.
How Robertson feels in his bullpen session would seemingly play a major role in how the Tigers proceed. If he’s fine, he makes the Tigers’ options easier. If he isn’t, well, it becomes more complicated, and it gets a little closer to the “absolutely necessary” condition that Leyland placed on the possibility of starting Miner when he talked about it last week.