Kurt Mensching of Bless You Boys is reporting that the Tigers plan to call up Andy Oliver and Charlie Furbush later in the week. The word is that the Tigers would place Oliver in the rotation, and move Phil Coke and Charlie Furbush to bullpen roles. This move hasn’t been officially announced (although I trust BYB to be accurate), and there has been no word on corresponding moves.
Zac and I speculated on last week’s podcast that Phil Coke may be moved back to the bullpen out of necessity. He hasn’t pitched as poorly in the rotation as some of his numbers indicate, but the Tigers are in desperate need of solid bullpen help, and Coke proved that he could fill the role last year.
This would leave four lefties in the bullpen, so at least one of Brad Thomas and Daniel Schlereth will have to go (if not both). Schlereth’s traditional numbers say he’s pitched OK, so he may be safe (although his DIPS numbers aren’t very good). If the move does indeed happen, I can’t see any way that Brad Thomas keeps his spot on the team. He’s out of options, so he’d have to be DFA’d to be removed from the roster (although I can’t see why he wouldn’t clear waivers). He could very well end up in Toledo.
The other move doesn’t appear to be as clear. As Kurt mentions in the original piece, it could be that Joaquin Benoit is indeed injured and needs a trip to the DL. That may be what turns out to happen, but I would have expected Rick Porcelloto start tonight’s game and Coke to be moved to the pen immediately to provide some depth. The official word from the team, as it stands now, is that Porcello (who got rained out last night) will be skipped, and Coke will start tonight.