Detroit Tigers News

Detroit Tigers: Who is Dustin Molleken?

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Mar 22, 2016; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers pitcher Dustin Molleken (96) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 22, 2016; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers pitcher Dustin Molleken (96) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Detroit Tigers looked down to Triple-A to help out their taxed bullpen. In need of a fresh arm, the Tigers purchased the contract of minor league journeyman Dustin Molleken.

It took a little while but 31-year-old Dustin Molleken is getting his shot in the big leagues with the Detroit Tigers. Years of hard work will finally pay off for the minor league journeyman who spent 11 seasons in the minor leagues before getting the call to the show Monday.

After a road trip where the Tigers used more of their bullpen than they would have liked, they needed some fresh arms.

Molleken was the last guy fans thought would be on his way to Detroit. Not only was he not on the 25-man roster Sunday, but he was also not on the 40-man roster. That all changed Monday when the Tigers designated Casey McGehee for assignment after just one at-bat with the Tigers.

With a spot open on the 40-man and 25-man rosters, the Tigers called upon Molleken to make his first ever trip to the big leagues.

All those years of riding the bus and playing in cities he had never heard of finally payed off for Molleken. He was drafted in the 15th round of the 2003 MLB draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates. He spent his first seven years in the Pirates organization before becoming a minor league free agent.

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Molleken has pitched for five major league organizations and played on 11 minor league teams. He even spent two years pitching for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters of Nippon Professional Baseball in Japan. Molleken is also a native of Regina, Saskatchewon in Canada and competed for his country during the 2011 Baseball World Cup and Pan Am Games.

Molleken has worked as a starter and a reliever in his 629.1 career minor league innings. His minor league numbers are not all that impressive, but his career longevity is what stands out. He features a fastball that sits between 92-94 mph as well as a slider. Molleken was 1-3 with a 3.76 ERA and a 1.435 WHIP in Triple-A. He also struck out 34 batters in 38.1 innings.

Molleken may not be with the Tigers for long however. With only four starters in the major league rotation and nine players in the bullpen the Tigers will need to make a move before Thursday.

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With so little experience Molleken could make way for a starter currently pitching in Toledo such as Boyd or Daniel Norris. Until that happens Molleken is a feel good story pitching in Detroit. Though it is almost certain he would rather be a productive pitcher than just a feel good story.

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