After the game tonight, the Tigers made a roster move, sending lefty reliever Duane Below down to Toledo, and recalling the contract of Luke Putkonen. It’s kind of a surprising move, considering that for most of this season Below has pitched pretty solidly, however, as of late he has struggled to stay sharp. In his last 5 games, including tonight, Below has pitched 10.1 innings, giving up 9 runs.
Putkonen, who has been terrible this season in the big leagues in his 7.1 innings, offers another reliever that can go multiple innings, but it’s unlikely that he will see any high leverage situations. In 7.1 innings in the big leagues this season, Putkonen has given up 7 runs and a whopping 19 base runners.
I’m not really sure what to think of the move. My assumption when Leyland mentioned it so matter of factly in his post game interview was that the Tigers just wanted a fresh arm, and another righty to pick up the slack for a hurting Brayan Villarreal. However, he made it sound more like they believed Below just wasn’t getting the job done. Fair enough. But Luke Putkonen when you have the likes of Luis Marte down in the minors? Marte has at least shown that he is capable of getting major league hitters out, despite a few struggles this season.
I’m not sure the reasoning, but this move almost seems like a transaction just for the sake of doing something. Below was getting used so infrequently, if anything, the Tigers might be able to roll with an 11 man staff instead of 12. In the grand scheme of things, it will probably have very little impact on the pennant race, still…
What do you all think? Below deserve to get sent down?