Leyland: “No clue” who will fill in for Fister

The question of who will fill in for Doug Fister in the Tigers rotation was just as murky Sunday morning as the question of how long Fister will be out with his left side strain.

“I have no clue who’s gonna start, absolutely none,” Leyland said Sunday morning. “Villarreal has joined the team and we will have a starter at the appropriate time. Who it is, I have no clue. None.”

While Duane Below would appear to be the logical candidate, the Tigers are leaving it open. Below hasn’t been told he’s starting, and the Tigers will spend the next two days watching starters at Triple-A Toledo. Somebody from the club watched Andy Oliver pitch for the Mud Hens Sunday night (he gave up five runs, two earned, on three hits with five walks over 3 2/3 innings) and Leyland said he might spend the off-day Monday in Toledo to watch Casey Crosby start.

By all indications, the trade option remains open as well. John Lannan has reportedly requested a trade out of the Nationals organization after Washington optioned him to Triple-A, but there’s no sign yet out of Washington reports that the Nats will give him away simply to finalize the divorce.

The longer Fister is out, the more viable the trade option would appear to be. Even if he’s going to be out a few weeks, it might not make sense to give up a prospect or take on more salary just to fill that time.

What about Roy Oswalt, you ask? If he needs 60 days to get ready for game action until June, as Ken Rosenthal reported, then it kind of defeats the purpose for the Tigers. It would take a long-term injury to Fister for that to make sense, and they would still have to fill his spot in the meantime.

One thing to keep in mind for this week: With Monday’s off-day, the Tigers have the option of moving up Max Scherzer to start in Fister’s place Friday instead of Saturday. Given that Friday is the White Sox home opener, and we know how White Sox crowds can be, having Scherzer pitch that day might make some sense. The downside is that if they do that, they won’t have Scherzer for the four-game series against Texas at Comerica Park April 19-22.

As for a timetable on Fister, head athletic trainer Kevin Rand said, “Not right now. We’ve just got to get him pain free. Once we get him pain free, then we can move forward.”

Fister echoed that after Sunday’s game, saying the main focus is to get the tightness and soreness out of his side.

“There’s no timetable,” he said. “It’s a day-to-day thing.”

34 Comments

ribcage pain can be a nagging problem. hope he’s ready in 15 days, but will not be surprised if it’s much longer. tigers have multiple internal options…no urgency for acquiring another starter at this point unless price is right.

Boesch needs to stop pressing himself and be patient at home

Max has been horrible. Was worried his last 2 ST starts in which he gave up a tonne of hits. Wildness today is a huge problem.

Why is Leyland trying to save the bullpen? We have an off day tomorrow and 2 pitchers, including the long man, haven’t even pitched yet. Instead, even though Scherzer clearly did not have it, Leyland leaves him in for another 4 or 5 batters so that we can lose the lead and fall a couple of runs behind. He does this every year. Can he not tell when a pitcher just doesn’t have it?

Now , it is time to worry. If he cant pitch with that kind of run support , the Tigers are now with only two proven starters .

Scherzer will straighten himself out (see his history, and expect the same). He has too many parts in his pitching mechanics, and he is obviously out of whack right now; in fact, he has been for a couple of weeks. That much said, it is ridiculous that neither Leyland nor Jones visited him on the mound in either the 2nd or the 3rd, when he was clearly lost. Leyland could have, and should have, taken him out when the Tigers were leading 5-4. Mismanagement of the pitching staff, given tomorrow’s day off. Of course, Fister’s injury, which forced the Tiger relievers to pitch 5-plus innings, had a ripple effect on Leyland’s decisions today.

Verlander and Porcello. If Doug is out for any length of time, I dont know what the Tigers will do. Max seems to be struggling more and more. We need all the wins we can get at this point.

The inning was long and Bucholz has worked a lot too. Time to a comeback

When Balaster came running out, I thought it was Fister for a moment….tall and lanky with the messy hair. Wishful thinking, perhaps.

er,er,er All our starters with their last name ending in “er” are 0-0 on the year!!!!
(Can’t watch the game–too much time on my hands I guess)

Max better figure it out and soon. Pretty disappointed in him right now. He is either awesome or rotten. Especially with Fister out for a while, he needs to get his head out of his ?????

There was a Yankee´s pitcher using the eephus in a WS. 1981 or 1978

Phil Coke’s brain.

Armando Galaraga had an eephes pitch if I remember correctly.

Benoit was not sharp yesterday . And he keeps struggling

The Valverde impersonation only lasted one hitter…

After Valverde. No one left in the pen. They wouldn’t use Below would they?

Below is not available and Valverde has flu like symptoms.

If they can keep the game tied , it is Boesch. Miguel and Prince to end it

Well Raburn flubbed that good!? As good as the pitching was the 1st couple games, it was equally as horrible today. 3 rd game only, but with Fister out for a while, it’s not a good feeling.

Well, Below the only unavailable pitcher is out there.
Balester was good. Only one hit . He was the loser pitcher until the 9th but it was S who allowed the run to score. Dotel did a good job too.

I don’t think any of our pitchers have anything to be proud of today, with maybe the exception of Villareal. Some werent horrible but nobody shut anything down. I’m disappointed, not in a potential loss, but the execution of the pitchers.

Why didn’t Fielder go on that wild pitch?

Holy cow!

Below with the win again. Ok, who lost the battle for the fith spot?

Oh, my. That was something else. Unforgettable!

Weird. Three wins and not one by the starter. Below is leading the league in wins!
These hitters today showed the kind of no quit attitude we were so pleased with last season.
We have had some of our “go to” guys like Valverde and Benoit, falter. Perhaps this will be good in the sense they might have gotten the bugs out, so to speak.
We have had an injury that can alter our rotation and make things more difficult.
Below actually deserved that in a funny way—I think he struck out Adrian at the end didn’t he?

bless you boys! Bless you!

I’ve been prepared to be satisfied with a 12-10 record to start, but this sweep just made that a lot more attainable. I guess most everyone saw it, incredible. We wish for homers in two late inning spots and got them both times. As I said before, nothing bothers these guys.
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JL really needs to keep Scherzer on a tighter leash. He’s not the type of pitcher who can turn it around mid-game, and there’s no point in waiting for total disaster before relieving him. Balester pitched well, and could have done that earlier. This may be my one remaining beef with Leyland. I’m really starting to wonder about Max. Will he ever get there?
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Raburn’s adventures are worthy of a comic book. He pulls off some dazzlingly heads up baserunning but has a mostly bad day in the field. Worth is really showing his worth to the club. I decided a few years back that Cabrera is the best hitter I’ve ever seen in a Tigers uniform, but now I’m considering if he’s not the best hitter I’ve ever seen anywhere. The things he can do at the plate are amazing. Valentine crashes his infield and Miguel punches it right through them, then looks into the Boston dugout as if to say “don’t try that stuff.” Need a 3-run homer? You got it. Sac fly? No problem. One runs out of superlatives to describe it.

And don’t forget, Cabrera’s performace this weekend at 3rd has given much confidence towards him not being a liability – defensively – at 3rd in the next couple years. The feasibility of a Cabby-Prince-VMart triple-threat is that much closer.

Cabrera looks like he is enjoying himself more than ever. I think the nation is really going to notice him this year.

these cats have 9 lives and they’re grinding out some quality ABs…Cabrera, Young, Avila all got the job done with 2 strikes in that crazy 11th inning. i still cannot believe they won this game.
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lost in the win was Coke paying back the Red Sox for hitting Prince yesterday. he missed Gonzalez with the first pitch, then drilled him with the 2nd one. wondering if that was a strategic mistake, putting a 2nd runner on for Ortiz, but Coke put him away.

wasn’t lost on me – coke nearly HAD to hit Ortiz. I don’t think Coke (or the skip) wanted to either – but not protecting Prince is nearly out of the question. Plus, once Bobby V starting chirping about it both benches were warned and it’s over until next series. These teams don’t like each other.

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