On the second batter of the Friday night’s game Dontrelle Willis slipped and hyper-extended his knee. It’s unclear at this point whether the knee injury will cause Willis to hit the DL, but given his control problems this year it might not be a bad idea regardless. If the Tigers do need a new starter, who could they turn to? Up until Friday afternoon I thought that it would be Yorman Bazardo, but now Detroit will have to turn to someone else.
Vasquez made a couple spot starts for the Tigers last year, with some rocky results. He was rocked at the Metrodome, and had a short outing against the A’s. In between was a 5 inning, 2 run effort against the White Sox. He’s been solid in his 2 starts so far with an impressive 14:2 K:BB ratio for the Mud Hens.
The right hander was acquired for minor leaguer Michael Hernandez. In his first two starts he has a .67 WHIP and has 11 strike outs versus 1 walk for Toledo. Detroit Tiger Thoughts mentioned Galarraga as a candidate for a bullpen call up as well.
Controversial? Yes. But I have to believe it would be considered. Dave Dombrowski and Jim Leyland have been willing to rapidly promote (or rush) players through the system. He’s had an easy time of it in Lakeland in his first 2 starts – ever. And that’s the rub. He has two professional starts under his belt. While the scouting reports indicate he probably already is capable of pitching at the big league level the bigger question is should he? I’m inclined to say it would be a bad idea because he needs time to develop and do you want to thrust that on a kid? Conversely though if his stuff is ready, and if he is as poised as he appeared in the spring training appearance I saw (and by all accounts he is), would there be an adverse effect for him to collect a handful of starts?
I still think it will be Vasquez. He’s done it before and it is the sensible pick. But don’t fool yourself if you think that Porcello wouldn’t be at least discussed.