Tigers could use some bullpen help

The Tigers have had interest rumored in starting pitchers and shortstops the last several days, but manager Jim Leyland laid a subtle hint what his team’s most pressing need might be.

“I guess if you could make a wish, you might wish Santa would drop another good reliever,” Leyland told reporters Tuesday afernoon. “It might happen and it might not happen. I’d like to deepen it a little bit. We’ve actually survived decent, but you don’t know if it can continue.

“With the loss of [Bobby] Seay and [Zach] Miner, that was a big loss to start with. Now [Joel] Zumaya is out again. That’s three guys that you counted on. We’ve actually survived it pretty good. Whether we can continue or not, it remains to be seen. I’d just like to deepen it with maybe a little more experience or something. That’s easier said than done.”

Indeed, with so many teams looking for relief help, it’s a tall order. And as Leyland has said repeatedly, he doesn’t have much say on the trade front. Still, if you want to know what the Tigers really need, that just might be it.

Leyland’s comments came a day after his post-Zumaya bullpen mix seemed to take shape. Once the Tigers took a lead into the seventh inning Monday, Ryan Perry pitched an inning, followed by Phil Coke and closer Jose Valverde.

Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse posted Tuesday on Twitter that the Tigers had a scout at Monday’s Mariners-Royals game, supposedly to watch potential bullpen help. The Mariners were in Detroit for three games over the weekend, but they never saw Seattle closer David Aardsma and only saw Brandon League and Sean White once. The Royals bullpen has been in flux all season, though it has settled down lately. It’s unlikely the Tigers would welcome back Kyle Farnsworth, whose last stint in Detroit two years ago went horribly wrong for both the Tigers and Farnsworth.

10 Comments

Following up on Rich’s observations, Jim Price made 2 good comments last night about the Tigers’ prospects for the second half of the season: 1. The Tigers need better performances from their starters. Rotation ERA’s have increased by a full run in the last 20 games or so. If the rotation can get back to its early season form, the pitching staff will be in good shape, with or without a trade. 2. The Tigers need to win more road games. If they can get to a consistent 40% road winning percentage and continue to play well at home, they should be contenders.
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I think those are wise comments. They play into much of what we bloggers write about.
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Personally, I think mid-season trades are way oversold. Look at our experience over the last few years.
AA Mark

I think JL is correct in his assessment. We need to get the ball to Valverde with some degree of consistency. Of course, if we had stronger and/or more consistent outings from our starters, it would relieve the burden on the relief, as it were. Adding a starter could also accomplish that. I can’t help but say that it was foolish to depend on Zumaya, but it seems that only a few of us fans realize that…..every single season.
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I don’t think we need a shortstop, at least this season. We’ve already got a solid defender who can handle a bat, draw walks to start rallies, and is hitting in the .270 range. Unless we’re talking about a superstar shortstop, who is going to beat what Santiago is doing?
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–Rich

So they really think Oliver will be able to stop Minnesota . He was unable to hold a last place team. And it was disrespectful for Gallarraga, he is a pro who is been demoted for an unproven rookie

I like Rod. He’s insightful enough for me. He is very polite and has a sense of humor. And he played the game. I suppose sometimes his politeness/laud towards the successes of an opposing pitcher or player can bother. Maybe he overdoes it. I just think that we sometimes would rather blame our guys instead of praising the other team. That’s probably our nature, especially when a game gets particularly ugly.

You’re right, Marty, and how are you doing, by the way? Arrieta last night had some nasty stuff and we’d never seen the guy. I can live with that. What bothers me is when our guys fall prey to a pitcher who throws fastballs above the belt buckle and we keep swinging at it. Regarding Rod, if the game story becomes the opposing starter, like last night, that’s what he should talk about. Bear in mind I didn’t hear Rod last night, I’m just saying.
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I think Sunday’s game is going to be a bullpen committee start anyway so why not Oliver for an inning or three? I thought it was a good move to get Galarraga a start at Toledo to keep him in the groove. The Twins kill him.
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–Rich

It was Mario and Rod who both were talking about the Orioles so long, I kept wondering if they were ever going to talk about the Tigers. That’s all. Dan and Jim can get on my nerves, too. Only if their losing, though.

Bought a navy blue and white leather bracelet with baseball stitching and the Old English D on it. Put it on 2 days ago and will wear it til Saturday. Maybe longer depending on what happens.

Go Tigers!!!!!

Pitching, pitching, pitching. You can never have enough of it.

I am a detail-oriented person, and this is probably why I take issue with posters and broadcasters’ mistakes. I used to read Sporting News Baseball Register cover to cover and I am reading a Macroeconomics textbook for fun this summer while I take Sports Law and enjoy a relaxing summer between law school semesters. So that’s me. Sorry, Rod, you seem like a nice guy!
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I was speaking with my father last night and commented on the fact that we moan about our guys and manager, etc. and think Minnesota is such a better baseball team…what must a regular Twins viewer feel like? Probably that their starting pitching is frustrating beyond belief this year, what is wrong with Mauer, why can’t they pull away ever in this division, etc.

Venezuela, it wasn’t a demotion for Armondo, he simply isn’t needed in the rotation until after the all star break and I think they wanted him to get some pitching in, just the way the rotation goes, he’ll be right back up.

I know I’m not the first one to say this, but when the Tigers go shopping before the trade deadline, they ought to be looking for a decent bat off the bench. We don’t have a single player to send in as a pinch hitter or defensive replacement who is hitting better than .230, and nobody with any pop. Since we sent Thames to NYC, opposing managers and pitchers can count on anyone off our bench to be an easy out. As the season stretches out, I suspect that weakness is bite us more and more.

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