Villarreal up, Schlereth down
Before Wednesday’s game, Jim Leyland seemed ready to stick it out with Daniel Schlereth and try to get his command right. Then came Wednesday’s 16-9 loss to the Mets.
Now comes Brayan Villarreal because, simply put, the Tigers need a fresh body in their bullpen in case this red-hot Mets lineup somehow knocks out Justin Verlander early.
Villarreal was scheduled to start for Triple-A Toledo on Thursday, having made the transition to the Mud Hens rotation as soon as the Tigers optioned him out earlier this season. He is 0-5 with a 4.41 ERA for Toledo, but he has better learned about using his changeup, as he said a few weeks ago.
Unless the Tigers have an injury, Schlereth can’t come back to the big leagues for at least 10 days. The question now is whether the Tigers might use the opening to bring back Brad Thomas when he’s ready, or maybe shift Phil Coke back to the bullpen. Leyland said Wednesday the Tigers have pondered some possibilities with Coke, but they haven’t made any decision.