Looking for help

After being spectators for the first 50 games of the season, the Tigers long relief has been busy. Mike Maroth lasted only 1/3 of an inning on Thursday. After a reprieve with strong outings from Nate Robertson and Justin Verlander, they were again pressed into action on Sunday. Tonight, with Mike Maroth unavailable Roman Colon started but couldn’t make it out of the third inning. Bobby Seay came on and couldn’t make it out of the 5th. As the Tigers continue to face tough offenses for the forseeable future they may need to find help beyond their current bullpen.

Jordan Tata would be a logical choice. He’s been with the team and had success. He could spot start for Mike Maroth, or be a long man in the pen. The downside is that he started on Monday for Toledo, making him unavailable until Saturday.

Wil Ledezma would be another logical choice. Like Tata he could start or pitch out of the bullpen. But like Tata he wouldn’t be available for a few days as he pitched 7 innings of 3 hit ball tonight.

Looking a little deeper in the organization, Humberto Sanchez is also a worth candidate. He’s been on a roll since a strong Arizona Fall League. He started on Sunday, which means he’d be available for the Red Sox opener.

Now other members of the Toledo staff such as Zach Miner and Colby Lewis have pitched well. But neither of them are currently on the 40 man roster. Ledezma, Tata, and Sanchez are all on the roster, and in option years already.

If I were a betting man, I’d say that Jordan Tata gets the call and will make the next start in the open spot. Colon, who had a short outing tonight, could slide back into the long relief role and be available in a day or so.

So under this scenario, who heads down to make room for Tata or Ledezma, or whoever? Bobby Seay would certainly be a candidate. He loaded the bases and surrendered a grand slam before recording an out on Sunday. Tonight he allowed as many baserunners as he got outs. But even after those two rough outings it isn’t a slam dunk. Seay’s batting average against is still only .235.

Now the Tigers might not make any moves. They may just ride it out. Maybe Nate Robertson and Justin Verlander can go deep into the next few games and give the pen a rest. I’d just be surprised if things aren’t shaken up before Colon’s spot in the rotation comes up again.