Well, well, well. You ask and you shall receive.
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Earlier this morning Dan Byrne posted that he wanted a LOOGY (Left-Handed One Out GuY) now that it appeared Phil Coke was not coming back and the Detroit Tigers’ bullpen was severely lacking this necessity. Mere hours later, the club announced the signing of former Milwaukee Brewer Tom Gorzelanny to a one-year deal.
Gorzelanny spent two seasons in Milwaukee where he put up some of the best numbers of his career. He had a great first half for the Brewers in 2013, taking a 1.88 ERA in 35 appearances, including three starts, into the All-Star break but faltered a bit down the stretch, finishing with a 3.90 ERA over 85.1 innings with a WHIP of 1.266.
It was clear something was bothering him due to the rocky finish and Gorzelanny underwent shoulder surgery prior to the 2014 season. He was effective after coming back in mid-June in a reduced role. The 32-year old finished with an eye-pleasing 0.86 ERA in 21 innings pitched over 23 games with 23 strikeouts and a WHIP of 1.429.
Part of the reason for his reduced role last year was the emergence of Zach Duke who served the similar LOOGY role, but has since signed with the Chicago White Sox.
Gorzelanny has spent time with the Pittsburgh Pirates (2005-09), Chicago Cubs (2009-10) and Washington Nationals (2011-12).
To make room on the 40-man roster for the new signing, the Tigers have designated Luke Putkonen for assignment.
As it stands today, barring any other trades or moves, the Tigers will head into Spring Training with a bullpen consisting of Gorzelanny, Ian Krol, Kyle Lobstein, Al Alburquerque, Joel Hanrahan, Bruce Rondon, Joakim Soria and Joe Nathan.
Are fans growing more confident with that cast of characters or is it still the biggest glaring hole for the 2015 Detroit Tigers?
Only time will tell. Spring Training can’t get here soon enough.