Results tagged ‘ Duane Below ’
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.
The Tigers have not announced their scheduled starter for Wednesday yet, but the scene at Triple-A Toledo Sunday night suggests they’ve made their choice. Charlie Furbush, who started Thursday’s game for the Mud Hens, made a surprise relief appearance Sunday night for the Hens in the sixth inning. As the Toledo Blade’s John Wagner reports on his Coop Scoop blog, Hens manager Phil Nevin said after the game that he pitched Furbush an inning in relief at the Tigers’ request.
Nevin also told The Blade that Fu-Ne Ni is now scheduled to start for the Mud Hens Tuesday in the spot that originally belonged to Furbush.
Considering Tigers officials are now saying Jacob Turner is unlikely to pitch in Detroit this season despite the Tigers moving him up two days in the rotation at Double-A Erie, to a spot that coincides with the open spot in Detroit’s rotation, all this Furbush speculation could still amount to nothing. Or, it could mean he got an extra inning of work for Furbush to keep him fresh before starting for the Tigers Wednesday night against Oakland on an extra day’s rest.
It might well be a spot start until the Tigers trade for another starter, as Dombrowski admitted he’s trying to do in an interview with Foxsports.com Sunday. But for now, the best guess is that it’s Furbush’s rotation spot. Put it this way: The Tigers wouldn’t request an inning of relief for Furbush if he was being pushed back a day to take Duane Below’s rotation spot in Toledo on Wednesday.
One more thought on Turner: If the Tigers are determined to add a veteran starter, then it makes sense to have him stay in the minors rather than take the spot. Yes, Justin Verlander made two spot starts in 2005 before cracking the rotation the next year, but he was older and neither start went well. One advantage Jeremy Bonderman and Rick Porcello had when they made the Tigers rotation at age 20 was that they knew they had the patience of the organization on their side. If they blew up in a start, they’d be back out there in five days or so. This isn’t a luxury the Tigers have now, and having Turner reading the rumor mill while he’s trying to read scouting reports makes no sense for anyone. He probably has better stuff than anyone the Tigers can acquire, unless they pull off a deal for Ubaldo Jimenez, but it doesn’t matter unless there’s patience.
It’s an off-day for the Tigers, who worked out tonight at Comerica Park, but it’s still a news day. It’s also a game day for Double-A Erie, where Jacob Turner has rejoined the club after pitching in the All-Star Futures Game Sunday at Phoenix and the Eastern League All-Star Game Wednesday in New Hampshire.
When Turner talked in Phoenix, he said his next start for Erie was slated for July 18, giving him some extra rest. That plan has changed in recent days. Turner will start for the SeaWolves tomorrow (Friday), despite pitching an inning in the Eastern League All-Star Game two days earlier.
Coincidentally, the Tigers have an open spot in their rotation five days later, the normal time between starts. But it’s difficult to see a pitching prospect being moved up two days in the rotation by a team with an open spot as a coincidence.
That doesn’t mean that Turner is the choice to start next Wednesday. Charlie Furbush started Thursday for Triple-A Toledo, and he remains a strong option to return to Detroit. Duane Below, who takes a 9-4 record and 3.06 ERA into his start for the Mud Hens on Friday, also appears to be an option. There’s also the trade route, though it would be difficult to line up somebody from another team’s rotation to come in and start on that short notice. There are no indications yet that the Tigers have set their plans for next Wednesday.
Even if Furbush starts next Wednesday, that doesn’t necessarily solve the issue beyond that. By moving up Turner, the Tigers put him in line with that fifth spot for the foreseeable future. If Furbush has another rough outing, the Tigers could take the chance and start Turner. But if the Tigers go to Turner, it isn’t likely to be for just a spot start. That’s where this juggling act gets tricky, and why the Tigers are taking their time on this. If Furbush starts and the Tigers later trade for a starter or opt for Turner, Furbush can go the bullpen. They won’t do that shuffle with Turner.