Morosi: Andy Oliver Will Debut Friday

According to sources, says Fox Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi, AA southpaw Andrew Oliver will make his major league debut on Friday in Atlanta when the Tigers take on the Braves.

Oliver, a 2009 second-round draft pick, will be recalled prior to the game on Friday, at which time the team would make a corresponding roster move. Oliver, 22, has posted a 6-4 record and 3.61 ERA in the hitter-friendly Eastern League while pitching for the Erie Seawolves. This is his first season of professional ball after signing late last season.

My best guess is that Oliver will replace either Enrique Gonzalez or Fu-Te Ni on the active roster. Right hander Jay Sborz could also be a possibility, but he will have only been with the club for a few short days by Friday. Sborz is to be officially recalled in time for tonight’s game with the Mets.

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  • Chris

    Sometimes I don’t follow the logic of roster moves at all. It isn’t that I don’t think Oliver is a good pitcher, or that I’m not curious to see how he pitches in the big leagues. The only reason not to give him a shot would be stinginess with the arbitration clock. I just don’t understand why Enrique Gonzalez was called up at all if he isn’t going to start on the road against a national league team. That’s the only major point in his favor compared to the other guys they could have called up instead of him – he’s had to hit for most of his career and he’s done it better than most pitchers. Did do something this past week that made the Tigers staff lose confidence in him? He didn’t allow any runs….

    • John Parent

      Best I can figure, Gonzalez was never really considered for a starting spot. He was recalled during a stretch where they were skipping Porcello, so maybe they thought they could use an extra long-man, but then they didn’t need him until Saturday. He serves the same role as Thoma right now, just an extra arm in the bullpen, but he’s really a starter. I’m with you; if he’s not here to start, then why is he here? There are much better relief options than a guy who isn’t used to that role.

    • Zac Snyder

      I’m surprised by the move as well, although it does seem to fit a pattern of giving a young pitcher a chance to show what he can do against Major League talent. Justin Verlander, Jair Jurrjens, Virgil Vazquez, and Alfredo Figaro all got spot starts as prospects.

      The other possibility here is that the front office thinks Porcello will need more than the ten days Scherzer needed. In that case, they might feel that Oliver is a better long term solution than Gonzalez.

      Sit back and enjoy the ride!

  • Chris

    The impression I’m getting is that the Tigers front office is indecisive. They decide to call up Gonzalez, but they’re never sure it was the right move and then they send him back before really giving him a shot. That can’t be coming from Leyland.

    • Zac Snyder

      The framework of an actual plan show itself in this: Enrique Gonzalez was called up prior to Porcello’s demotion; at that time they needed a reliever, not a starter (I know Gonzalez was starting at Toledo but he his role in the Majors would be long relief). Since then, Porcello has been demoted therefore creating a need for a starter on Friday, by which time Ryan Perry will be just about ready to return.

      Over the last week the pitching needs changed from a reliever to a starter. Apparently management likes Oliver better for that role and so he will get the start. Gonzalez is a veteran that was rewarded for playing well at Toledo. An argument could be made that a guy like Sborz deserved the spot but then the argument is about a particular player rather than a lack of a plan. Oliver would never have been in the conversation for taking a bullpen spot because of his youth; he was better served staying on his schedule in Erie.

      I’m sure Leyland would prefer the situation to be a lot less like a revolving door but that wouldn’t be the case if the guys the team was supposed to depend upon had met expectations.

  • Bryan

    Talk about not understanding the logic of roster moves….has anyone see who is batting 2nd tonight? Yup, thats right Gerald Laird!! Really Leyland, Really? This is where Santiago must play if your not confident batting Worth 2nd – Laird should never bat 2nd – wow