Results tagged ‘ Ryan Perry ’

Updating the potential roster picture: Friday

What ended up being a regrettable finale for Jacob Turner ended up being a good day for helping the Tigers sort out their bullpen. Al Alburquerque got the inning he needed, and while he wasn’t as sharp as he’ll need to be come postseason play in a week, he was healthy. He’ll sit on Friday, then Jim Leyland hopes to test him with an inning each on Saturday and Sunday.

Assuming Alburquerque gets through that, I’d say he’s pretty much a lock for the postseason roster, leaving Leyland and the Tigers with one less bullpen decision. If you count the guys who are good to go (Valverde, Benoit, Schlereth, Coke, Alburquerque if he’s healthy), it could leave with maybe only one or two.

“I don’t think there’s any secret we’re looking,” Leyland said. “That’s as simple as it is. There’s no sense in trying to hide that from the players. There’s no sense in trying to hide that from the media, the fans. At some point, we’re going to have to decide on a roster.”

Some of that could depend on who the Tigers face. A meeting with the Yankees or Red Sox could place a premium on lefty relievers for a pitching staff that doesn’t have a lefty starter. Granted, the Tigers like some of their righties against left-handed hitters, especially Benoit and Alburquerque, but that doesn’t mean they’ll try to leverage that strength rather than play an opponent’s weakness.

Duane Below isn’t a lefty reliever by the stereotype, but he’s a lefty. And while lefties have hit him a little bit harder, his strikeout-to-walk ratio against them in his limited time is much stronger. It’s that skill that would be a stronger ticket onto the postseason roster than long relief, which becomes less of a necessity in a short series but still potentially useful for damage control later in the series. If the Tigers have to reliever Justin Verlander or Doug Fister early in one of the first two games, they have much deeper trouble than long relief.

That same issue seemingly doesn’t play in Pauley’s favor, being right-hander. But while he took the loss, Leyland said he looked better.

“In fairness to him, he really hasn’t gotten to pitch a whole lot since he’s been here,” Leyland said. “So we’re trying to get him some work as well.”

Perry, Leyland said, looked better as well. He’s had more good outings lately, Leyland said, than subpar ones.

“But he still needs a little more consistency,” Leyland said.

For a postseason pitching staff, if the decision’s on talent, there’s a spot for Perry, the former first-round pick with a penchant for quick, solid innings. But he might help his case just as much of he can avoid breakdowns like he had in Oakland, though that one admittedly came the afternoon after the Tigers’ division celebration.

The Tigers still need to know more on Wilson Betemit and Carlos Guillen before they can make decisions on the positional roster. If Betemit’s fine, their decisions whittle down tremendously. Guillen said he isn’t sure about his readiness for the postseason in a week. He can neither run nor swing a bat yet, and his Thursday work was limited to therapy.

Betemit, meanwhile, has hopes of playing Friday. Assuming he’s ready for the postseason, he slots in well as part of a third-base mix with Brandon Inge. Right field could be a three-man mix with Magglio Ordonez, Don Kelly and Andy Dirks. Yes, Dirks and Kelly both bat left-handed, but if the Tigers choose to keep Dirks, that could free up Kelly for a late-inning role in the outfield or third base. Dirks also brings some speed to him.

Add the Santiago/Raburn mix at second, and if the Tigers keep Dirks, they’re left with one more position spot, and a few different ways they can go.

- They could protect themselves at catcher by keeping Omir Santos. Yes, they have the option of making a roster move mid-series if Alex Avila were to be injured. But if they did that, by rule, he would have to miss the next round. That’s a huge conundrum if Avila were to have a day-to-day injury. Leyland said Thursday he can catch Martinez if he wanted, surprising all of us. But the fact remains that he hasn’t, not even for an inning in a blowout.

- They could go with another runner with Will Rhymes, and a batter who can lay down a bunt in a key situation. That might make better sense in the later rounds than it does now, but it’s still possible.

- They could add Guillen if he’s healthy. That’s sounding like a big if right now.

- They could add Danny Worth, but that would seemingly make more sense if Betemit or another infielder isn’t able to go.

Waiting for update on Alburquerque

The Tigers medical staff checked out Al Alburquerque this morning at Comerica Park, but no information was available as of game time. He was at the ballpark this morning, but disappeared into the training room area of the Tigers clubhouse. So at this point, we’re hoping for an update after the game.

Two interesting factors to consider:

  1. The immediate concern is how long, if at all, he’ll be out, and how long the Tigers can go without him before they have to consider calling up somebody. From a numbers and workload standpoint, the Tigers bullpen is fine. But take away Alburquerque even for a day or two, and as Wednesday showed, it leaves first-year pro Chance Ruffin as the only right-hander available before the eighth inning.
  2. If Alburquerque’s elbow has resurfaced as a concern, do the Tigers have to look into more relief help before Sunday’s non-waiver trade deadline? Even if it’s a short-term absence, the off and on issues make the elbow a longer-term concern. The Tigers popped up in rumors about Orioles reliever Koji Uehara the other day, and that was before this issue. Detroit wouldn’t necessarily need a setup man as insurance, but simply a middle reliever might end up being something to consider. That said, the Tigers have seen Phil Coke as an effective reliever against left- and right-handed hitters alike. The two options for right-handed help from the farm would be Ryan Perry and Lester Oliveros, but Detroit essentially said Ruffin was a better option than Oliveros when making Sunday’s move.

Leyland using Alburquerque judiciously

A month ago, it would’ve been difficult to envision Jim Leyland turning to Al Alburquerque to protect a lead with the bases loaded. He can get a strikeout when he needs one, but the risk of backfire with a walk and no base open would just be too big the way he was pitching.

If Leyland had some alternatives, he might not be turning to him either. But with Joaquin Benoit pitching setup and Jose Valverde closing, and four left-handers in the bullpen, Alburquerque is the only right-hander available for the seventh inning or earlier.

“The point is,” Leyland said, “who do you bring in?”

For more reasons than one, Leyland has to watch his situations with Alburquerque. For better or for worse, Thursday was one. Alberquerque’s fly out from Adam Everett for the third out made it for the better.

It isn’t a situation where a strikeout is any better than an out put in play, but under the circumstances, Leyland felt Alburquerque had the best chance at an out there. He could’ve let Scherzer face Everett and put in a lefty against Sizemore, but he didn’t want to wait for that.

Alburquerque needed two sliders to get Everett. The first, he spotted for strike one. The second got a swing and a fly ball. He stayed on to pitch the seventh, albeit with a pair of 3-0 counts, and handed the lead to Benoit for the eighth.

It marked Alburquerque’s first string of pitching back-to-back days since the end of May, and his first string of three outings in four days in nearly a month. It’s a little unusual for an improving young reliever, but Leyland has to protect the arm right now.

“I got a little problem one week ago in my elbow,” Alburquerque said after Thursday’s game.

It was pain, Alburquerque said, when he threw his slider. That’s not necessarily unusual. But for someone whose slider unusually accounts for more than half of his pitches, obviously, that’s not good. But some rehab work with the medical staff, he said, has it feeling better.

It puts a little extra importance on the fastball, potentially to keep him from throwing too many sliders and putting too much more stress on the elbow. If he’s going to throw the fastball, he has to command it.

“Right now, I’m trying to come back with my fastball,” Alburquerque said. “I got sometimes scared to trust my slider. I tried to come back working with my two-seamer, too.”

Alburquerque hasn’t given up a run over his last 10 outings, covering nine innings in which he has struck out 16.

It’s an interesting factor for a bullpen that doesn’t have anyone else who can do quite what he can. At some point, the Tigers are going to add a right-handed reliever. Ideally, it would be Ryan Perry, if he can show he has fixed his early-season issues at Triple-A Toledo. If that doesn’t happen, though, it isn’t hard to envision right-handed middle relief on the Tigers’ priority list before the July 31 trade deadline.

Your guide to Tigers reliever nicknames

And you thought the Tigers bullpen lost its character when Phil Coke became a starter.

Daniel Schlereth is out there, and as it turns out, he’s a character. So is Brad Thomas, and so, apparently, is Brayan Villarreal.

Schlereth announced today that he wants to be known by his nickname, the Alaskan Assassin. He was born in Anchorage, so that makes sense. He also has been nicknamed the Baby Black Bear.

I told him that could be quite a tandem, the Alaskan Assassin and Agent P, otherwise known as Ryan Perry, or the Platypus. But Perry has earned a new nickname in the Tigers bullpen. After his DL stint with an eye infection, he’s now known as Cyclops.

On down the line it went. Brayan Villarreal? He’s known as Zorro, Schlereth said, because of the hair.

Al Alburquerque? Schlereth didn’t have one for him, but Villarreal said he’s known as Avatar, after the characters from the movie.

Jose Valverde? They don’t really need a nickname, or at least they don’t dare put one of him. But when Big Potato was mentioned, Valverde nodded in approval.

Brad Thomas? Nothing. They just make fun of the Aussie accent.

Joaquin Benoit? Nothing yet.

Offbeat? You bet. But look at it this way: It sure beats those mohawk haircuts Tigers relievers had last year around this time.

Ryan Perry up, Enrique Gonzalez down

In case you hadn’t seen it elsewhere (including the Twitter feed going down the right-hand rail of this page), Ryan Perry is back in the Tigers bullpen, having been activated from the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday morning. Enrique Gonzalez was outrighted to Triple-A Toledo to make room.

Gonzalez had to pass through waivers unclaimed to be outrighted, so the decision on him came before his four-walk outing last night. So did the decision on activating Perry, who said he landed in Seattle late yesterday afternoon. He wasn’t eligible to be activated until today’s game, so he couldn’t have pitched last night even if he had arrived at the park in time.

No Perry roster move yet

Jim Leyland said Tuesday afternoon that Ryan Perry would be returning “very shortly,” but it didn’t happen after Tuesday’s loss to the Mariners. The Tigers had no roster move to announce in the postgame media session. They could still announce it Wednesday in time for the series finale, or they could simply wait until the Tigers return home Friday.

The original rehab plan that Perry discussed last week put him on track to be ready to be activated from the disabled list on Wednesday. It was not immediately clear if Perry was in Seattle Tuesday night.

Easy inning for Perry in latest rehab outing

The second, and presumably final, rehab appearance for Ryan Perry went much smoother than the first. It was an easy 15-pitch seventh inning today in Toledo’s win at Columbus. He retired the side in order to go with one strikeout.

The plan called for one inning out of Perry Monday after his 27-pitch outing for the Mud Hens on Friday back at Fifth Third Field. The original plan also called for Perry, as long as he feels fine, to be ready to travel here to Seattle on Tuesday in preparation for Wednesday, when he’s eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list in time for the Tigers’ series finale against the Mariners.

Perry to rehab at Triple-A Toledo

The timetable appears to be set for Ryan Perry to return to action next Wednesday, when he’s eligible to come off the disabled list. Before he heads out to Seattle, though, he’s going to take a detour to Triple-A Toledo for a rehab stint.

Perry has an appointment with the team eye doctor tomorrow, which is expected to go fine. The inflammation in his eye is all but out, and other than some redness, it looks normal. Assuming he gets the clearance to wear contacts again, he’ll head down to Toledo and throw a side session at Fifth Third Field on Thursday, he said.

Perry’s rehab assignment will officially begin Friday, when he’s scheduled to pitch in relief. His outing is expected to last 30 pitches, or about two innings. He’ll throw another side session over the weekend, then pitch in one more game early next week, presumably Monday.

The Tigers are going to fly Perry out to Seattle to have him available for Wednesday afternoon’s series finale against the Mariners at Safeco Field. They could wait until they get back into town on Friday, but that doesn’t sound like the plan.  That alone should tell you how important they see him to bridging the gap between their starters and their late-inning relief duo of Joaquin Benoit and Jose Valverde.

Perry to DL, Weinhardt recalled from Toledo

The Tigers’ first DL move of the regular season wasn’t anything expected. Detroit placed Ryan Perry on the 15-day DL on Thursday, retroactive to Tuesday, with an infected eye. Robbie Weinhardt, one of the last cuts of Spring Training, has been recalled from Triple-A Toledo to take his place.

Weinhardt was already in Toledo for the Mud Hens season opener. He’ll be in Baltimore for tonight’s series finale against the Orioles.

What that means for the Tigers’ seventh-inning relief options might take a little longer to sort out. Manager Jim Leyland had Phil Coke available for the first four games, but he’s now back in starter mode ahead of his turn in the rotation Saturday against the Royals.

Weinhardt could be an option, as could left-handers Daniel Schlereth and Brad Thomas. As Leyland said a couple days ago, somebody needs to step up. The only difference now is that Perry isn’t an option for a couple weeks.

Reporting day has arrived, and so have Tigers

By most measures, Sunday was a relatively quiet morning for the Tigers, quieter than most days earlier in the week. But it was a milestone day, as the final hours of Detroit’s offseason ticked away.

Officially, pitchers and catchers reported to camp Sunday. Unofficially, the vast majority of them have already been in camp for several days. Victor Martinez made a brief appearance Sunday, as reportedly did Joaquin Benoit. As of Sunday afternoon, only a handful or so of Tigers pitchers and catchers had yet to report. That won’t be a big deal; the real deadline is Monday morning, when the team meets at 9:30.

It’ll be a highly anticipated morning for many players, ready to get moving towards the season and to see what they have in what looks on paper like a stacked pitching staff.

“I feel like I’m more excited to get started now than I ever have,” said Ryan Perry, whose locker this spring will be next to that of Benoit.

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