MLB.com’s Jason Beck is reporting that the Tigers have optioned RHP Armando Galarraga to AAA Toledo. It is expected that Galarraga will spend 10 days with the Mud Hens, the minimum assignment for players on optional assignment. He could be recalled earlier only to replace an injured player.
The move is designed to get Galarraga back to the big club in a shorter time frame than a disabled list stint would permit. Galarraga was originally scheduled to start Friday against Tampa, but was moved out due to inflammation in his elbow. Rick Porcello will move up a day to take the Friday game.
LHP Nate Robertson will pitch Saturday’s game in Porcello’s stead. Robertson has been very good during his rehab assignment after surgery to remove masses in his left elbow. He worked exclusively out of the Tigers’ bullpen this season after spending virtually his entire career as a starter.
As far as immediate impact, I don’t see this as anything more than a lateral move. Galarraga wasn’t consistently giving great efforts, nor do I expect Robertson will. The bigger question may be in regard to the playoff roster. In order to be eligible for post season play, a player must be a part of the active roster on September 1, unless on the disabled list. I know there have been exceptions in the past, so I wonder if this move will affect Galarraga’s status if the Tigers make it to October.
UPDATE: Billfer has an explanation of playoff roster eligibility. If I am reading this correctly, Galarraga could be used in the playoffs, so long as he is replacing a pitcher who is injured, but otherwise, he would not be eligible for post season play because he has not been placed on the disabled list. Unless the Tigers have a change of heart and place him on the DL prior to September 1, it looks like Armando will likely be watching the post season.
Further Update: Looks like I was wrong. Due to Joel Zumaya’s injury, Galarraga could technically replace him on the playoff roster and be eligible. Sorry to cause alarm.