Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Tigers playoff bullpen takes shape
By AJ Mass
When the playoff series between the Detroit Tigers and the Oakland Athletics gets underway later this week, there are going to be a few arms missing from the Tigers bullpen thanks to lingering injuries that continue to bother a pair of important pitchers.
Bruce Rondon has not been throwing at all lately, due to elbow inflammation. Phil Coke is also sidelined with a case of forearm tendinitis. Manager Jim Leyland has declared both pitchers would not be ready to go in time for the American League Division Series.
Rick Porcello, who made two relief appearances in the team's final series against the Miami Marlins, won't be needed in the rotation, so he will certainly be one of the pitchers that Leyland turns to in Rondon's absence.
With Coke out, the Tigers have Drew Smyly as the only available left-hander in the mix. That means that either Jose Alvarez (1-5, 5.82 ERA) or Darin Downs (0-2, 4.84 ERA) would likely squeeze onto the playoff roster, with Downs likely getting the nod based on each pitcher's last few outings.