Wilk optioned, Villarreal called up

Adam Wilk’s stint as Doug Fister’s fill-in lasted three starts, and not a moment longer. After the Mariners roughed up Wilk for six runs over two-plus innings, the Tigers announced following the 9-1 loss that they had optioned Wilk to Triple-A Toledo.

Short-term, the Tigers are using the move to bring in reinforcements for a taxed bullpen, recalling Brayan Villarreal from Triple-A Toledo. But sometime before Monday, the Tigers will have to figure out what they’re doing with the rotation spot.

It’s possible, but unlikely, that Fister could be ready to return for that series opener against the Royals to begin next week’s homestand. Fister is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Thursday, which will be his first mound work in a week, but he has missed nearly three weeks since leaving his season-opening start with his strained left rib cage muscle.

It could be Duane Below, who has spent the season to date in Detroit’s bullpen but competed for a rotation spot in spring training. He pitched six innings last Saturday against the Rangers, so he’s already stretched out. It could be somebody else from Toledo, though Wilk was easily the most effective starter there when they gave him a shot. Casey Crosby has put together back-to-back effective starts for the Hens, while Andy Oliver supposedly looked good his last time out despite five walks in six innings against seven strikeouts.

Leyland did not rule out moving Below out of the bullpen, though he was noncommittal all around.

“We’re just going to have to wait and see what develops,” Leyland said. “I think that he’s settled in there and done a very good job for us. That’s worth a lot. But you just have to weigh your options, and we’re just not ready to do that tonight. I don’t think tonight’s the night to discuss something like that. I think we’ll probably have some discussions in the morning, see what the options are. But he has done very, very well.”

Wilk gave up 10 runs on 21 hits over 11 innings, with the vast majority of that damage coming in his last two starts. To his credit, he did not start trying to pitch around guys and hurt his case with walks, but the quantity of hits hurt him, even if the vast majority of hits didn’t go for extra bases.


Time to right the ship. Unfortunately I keep thinking that one person will make the difference (ie, Fister returns) but right now they are missing on all facets of the game. If Dirks is healthy I like him in the lineup over Inge/Raburn at this point, but again, he is not the answer to our woes – everyone has to step it up to fix what we have right now. Our long relievers all seem to be inexperienced minor league pitchers, but again, they could have given up 2 runs last night and we still lose.

I just keep saying this – we will come around, no time to panic or get worked up – just trying to believe myself!

Wilk is not a MLB starter, his stuff is not that good. I think he can be an effective reliever….maybe. He will need to develop a stronger breaking ball to get out big league lefties to get back. I wish Oliver would attack the strike zone like Wilk does.
My guess is they will bring up Oliver. Interesting that Jason doesn’t mention the possibility of Thad Weber starting, one could argue he was the most effective starter at AAA (for what that is worth).

Sorry to ask this so late, I missed the game last night. Did Caspar Wells get a nice welcome from the Tigers fans? I hope so. He was one I ddidn’t want to see go.

Back in the “old school” days pitchers in the bulpen were rewarded for their good work by given a chance to start. Tired of Leyland being called “oldschool” there is nothing “oldschool” about the way he manages.

anyone else see that m. pineada (SP yankees) out for season now?? I wouldn’t be surprised if the yanks try to grab Peavy from the SOX and Oswalt off the FA market.

Don’t they have Petitte coming out of retirement???

Going to the game this afternoon. Hopefully Porcello and others feel like playing today! It’s bordering on the ridiculous. They should be embarresssed by their level of play and if looking like a low a-ball team against one of the worst teams in baseball isn’t enough for them to kick it in gear, I don’t know what is.

Weber optioned, Putkonen up.

hmm why i wonder?

1.08 WHIP in 13innings…..he is a RIGHTY tho..and so is Villarreal…thus who do we have in the pen (middle innings guy) besides COKE who can get some lefties out?

Putkonen was thought highly of coming out of UNC (would have been teamates with A Miller if Tigers didn’t pay MIller so much). I look forward to seeing what he has got. Turner pitches toady in Lakeland as well.

Dirks DH, Boesch RF, Cabrera 3B, Fielder 1B, Young LF, Kelly CF, Peralta SS, Raburn 2B, Laird C, (Porcello P)

This musical chairs game with AAA pitchers is not working well. I have not been impressed with Villareal and Putkonen is another risk. Why haven’t Dotel and Coke been used a little more? Maybe someone from outside the organization will have to be the answer. I even saw where the Braves optioned Jair Jurrjens. Anyone for Lannan, Willis, Galarraga, or Robertson? (Just kidding.)

Looking at the calendar, they could spot start Below in four days, move up the rotation after next Thursday’s off day, and hope Fister is ready May 9.

Im getting ready to head downtown to rev up my tigers. I will do my best to get them going today.

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