Robbie Weinhardt Becomes Sacrificial Lamb


The Tigers made a roster move today, optioning rookie reliever Robbie Weinhardt to AAA Toledo and recalling RHP Alfredo Figaro from the MudHens.

Let me start by saying that despite Weinhardt’s terrifyingly ugly 9.17 ERA in 18 big league appearances, sending him down doesn’t seem right. Weinhardt looks like a big league pitcher and the Tigers have no real options in the bullpen this year, and even fewer hopes of making the playoffs. The only reason I can see to send him down is to protect him from severe emotional scarring that can hamper a young pitcher.

The Tigers have well-documented bullpen problems and Weinhardt has been as much a part of that as anyone. I guess I’d just prefer them stick with a young pitcher through the tough times instead of continuing to run Eddie Bonine or Brad Thomas out there. I’m frankly tired of watching those guys pitch.

I expect Weinhardt will return to Detroit in precisely 12 days, when rosters expand on September 1.

In Figaro, we get to see yet another example of how “good stuff” does not always equal “good pitcher”. Figaro has been up once before this year and was lit up in one relief outing. In previous years the Tigers have utilized him as a starter, perhaps most famously in a must-win game late last September.

In that game, and seemingly every other outing he’s had for Detroit, Figaro has looked over-matched by major league hitters.

This is really nothing more than a lateral move, probably not deserving of it’s own post, but I wanted to write something here about it today just so I could pass along to you a comment made by Paul Wezner of TigsTown on twitter:

"(The Tigers are) throwing “you-know-what” against the wall, seeing what sticks."

Yep. That about sums it up at this point.