July 19th, 2011

Below, Furbush called up; Wilk, Wells optioned

The Tigers announced two moves after the game — one of them expected, one less so. Duane Below is being recalled from Triple-A Toledo in advance of his Major League debut as Wednesday’s starting pitcher. But in addition, Charlie Furbush — who was the Tigers’ other option to start Wednesday — is coming up to handle long relief, which would suggest he’s no longer a starting option for the Tigers, at least not in the near futures.

Heading back to Toledo are left-hander Adam Wilk and outfielder Casper Wells. The latter comes about because the Tigers had an extra position player on their roster while they didn’t have a fifth starter.

“It’s a shame, because he didn’t really deserve to go down,” Leyland said. “He’s played well. He’s done a good job. I just felt like — we felt like — if we rest Magglio against the righty, then we’d have Dirks in the outfield. And right now, he just got the short end of the stick, and it’s a crying shame, because he does not deserve to go down.”

Wilk will start for the Mud Hens Wednesday night in what had been Below’s rotation spot. Fu-Te Ni started in place of Furbush and pitched seven innings of one-run ball with no walks and four strikeouts.

Turner pushed back to next week for Erie

For a while, Jacob Turner looked like a legitimate candidate to start for the Tigers on Wednesday, having been pushed back in the rotation to line up with that spot. Now, not only is he not pitching for Detroit, he won’t be starting for Double-A Erie on Wednesday, either.

The Tigers have decided to skip their top pitching prospect for a turn, citing his busy stretch last week between appearances at the All-Star Futures Game Sunday in Phoenix, the Eastern League All-Star Game Wednesday in New Hampshire and his moved-up start Friday out of the break.

It isn’t his first such break. The 20-year-old right-hander had nine days’ rest in mid-June. He’ll get the same total by the time he’s scheduled to return to the mound for Erie next Monday.

The Tigers haven’t definitively said Turner is on an innings count this year in his second professional season, but they’re keeping an eye on it.

“We are monitoring his work load,” Tigers vice president and assistant general manager Al Avila said in an email.

Tuesday: Tigers vs. Athletics

Austin Jackson returns to the lineup after head athletic trainer Kevin Rand cleared him during the off-day Monday. However, Jackson indicated he’s going to have to wrap his wrist for protection for the foreseeable future, likely the rest of the season.

Scott Sizemore, meanwhile, returns to Detroit for the first time since his trade, batting fifth in the A’s lineup. He’ll play third base alongside former Tigers prospect Guillermo Moscoso on the mound. You might remember him as one of two prospects traded for Gerald Laird.


  1. Austin Jackson, CF
  2. Brennan Boesch, LF
  3. Magglio Ordonez, RF
  4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
  5. Victor Martinez, DH
  6. Jhonny Peralta, SS
  7. Carlos Guillen, 2B
  8. Alex Avila, C
  9. Brandon Inge, 3B

P: Rick Porcello


  1. Jemile Weeks, 2B
  2. Ryan Sweeney, LF
  3. Coco Crisp, CF
  4. Hideki Matsui, DH
  5. Scott Sizemore, 3B
  6. David DeJesus, RF
  7. Conor Jackson, 1B
  8. Kurt Suzuki, C
  9. Cliff Pennington, SS

P: Guillermo Moscoso

Below to start Wednesday for Tigers

Duane Below will get his shot for the Tigers on Wednesday. He’s the scheduled starter for the two-game series finale against Oakland, the team announced Tuesday morning.

It’ll be the Major League debut for the 25-year-old Michigan native.

The announcement after Jacob Turner was moved up two days in the Erie rotation to coincide with the Tigers’ open spot, then Charlie Furbush pitched an inning of relief Sunday and supposedly scratched from his start for the Mud Hens. In other words, this move comes after no shortage of twists and turns.

The Tigers will have to make a roster move to bring up Below after tonight’s game. No word on that yet, though it’s safe to say the condition of Austin Jackson’s ailing wrist might play a role in that. If he still isn’t right, he could go on the disabled list to make room.

Of all the pitching prospects at Triple-A Toledo, Below has been the quietest, but he’s been quietly consistent. He’s 9-4 with a 3.13 ERA in 18 starts as a Mud Hen this year, allowing 99 hits over 115 innings. He’s unbeaten in his last four outings, allowing six runs on 20 hits over 26 innings in that stretch with 10 walks and 18 strikeouts.