Duane Below to Make Debut on Wednesday
By John Parent
The internet was all abuzz this morning after ESPN listed right hander Jacob Turner as the “probable starter” for the Detroit Tigers’ game against Oakland on Wednesday. Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski and manager Jim Leyland had both been steadfast that Turner wouldn’t be considered a candidate for the start, despite his schedule lining up perfectly to pitch on full rest.
It turns out, ESPN’s speculation was proven false when the club released their game notes this morning and listed Toledo southpaw Duane Below as the scheduled starter for tomorrow night.
Below, a Britton, Michigan native, was a 19th round pick of the Tigers in 2006. In his first season at Triple-A this year, he’s posted a stellar 3.13 ERA over 115 innings. Below has a WHIP this season of 1.183, but is averaging just 6.5 strikeouts per nine innings, a significant drop from where he was in the lower levels of competition. His minor league career has seen over 600 innings and 8.3 K/9.
Below is already on the club’s 40-man roster, so no player will have to be moved to create the spot for him in that sense, but a move will have to be made ahead of tomorrow’s game to open a spot on the 25-man squad. At this point, it looks likely that centerfielder Austin Jackson, who has not played since July 10, would land on the disabled list with his sore wrist. Such a move would be retroactive to July 11 and make Jackson eligible to return to the club on July 26. If Jackson is not shelved, the Tigers could option Ryan Raburn, who doesn’t figure to see much action in the wake of Carlos Guillen‘s return, to Toledo.
Fellow southpaw Charlie Furbush, who had made two unsuccessful starts in this spot in the rotation, was demoted to Toledo before the all-star break in an effort to stay on normal rest, at least that was the general sense coming from the Tigers. Furbush worked an inning in relief on Saturday for Toledo, his normal throw day in-between starts, but it appears as if he will make the start for the Mud Hens on Wednesday.
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