Purcey designated to make room for Pauley
The new Tigers have arrived from Seattle, and in a somewhat unexpected move, David Purcey is on his way out. The Tigers designated Purcey’s contract for assignment on Tuesday to make room new reliever David Pauley. Doug Fister already had a roster spot open for him once Jacob Turner was optioned to Triple-A Toledo on Sunday.
Had Al Alburquerque’s elbow been an issue, the move most likely would’ve been to put Alburquerque on the DL instead. But both team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski and manager Jim Leyland said Alburquerque is in good shape and available to pitch tonight. With somebody having to go out, the Tigers essentially chose to keep just-recalled Daniel Schlereth over Purcey, at the risk of losing him to a waiver claim.
The Tigers have 10 days to trade, release or outright Purcey. Given his command struggles, it would seem unlikely, but still possible, that another team claims the former first-round pick on waivers. The Tigers, for their part, would like to get Purcey in Toledo and work on straightening out the command issues that left the Tigers in a bind to use him in any situations.
“We like his arm and we’d love to keep him,” team president/general manager Dombrowski said, “but lately he’s had problems throwing strikes. For us, it was based upon us. If he clears, we’ll be happy to have him back at Triple-A and hopefully get him back throwing strikes.”
It was an odd development for the talented lefty who came over from Oakland in the Scott Sizemore trade back in May. He pitched well for the first four weeks he was a Tiger, racking up 8 2/3 scoreless innings over seven outings, before his command seemed to desert him.
Add up his 12 outings since June 21, and Purcey walked 16 out of 60 batters he faced, while allowing 15 earned runs over 10 innings. Opponents were batting .395 off him in that stretch. The capper was the last four outings, when he walked seven out of 13 batters.
“He threw so well early for us,” Dombrowski said. “He’s had control problems in his career at times, but never to this extent.”
Technically, you could argue that Purcey’s roster spot was needed for Doug Fister, since both Fister and Pauley were added to the roster at the same time. But the alliteration wouldn’t have been as good then.