Robbie Weinhardt gets the call

We here at Detroit Tigers Weblog have long been supporters of Robbie Weinhardt, so we’re thrilled to see him get his promotion to the big club. Armando Galarraga was optioned down to make room. The team doesn’t need a 5th starter before the All Star break, but they do need relief help after Andrew Oliver’s short outing on Monday and the extra inning affair Tuesday night.

Weinhardt was one of the last cuts of the camp, and seemed poised to slide into a bullpen slot when one opened up. But a remarkably stable and effective bullpen kept him in Toledo where he only walked 4 batters in 27.1 innings. Unfortunately Weinhardt suffered an arm injury at about the same time the Toledo-Detroit shuttle heated up, delaying his promotion.

Weinhardt was the 10th selection in the 2008 reliever draft. He was selected after Cody Satterwhite, Scott Green, and Brett Jacobson but has outperformed them all. For Lakeland in his first season he fanned 11.2 per 9 while only walking 2.8. He continued to progress up the chain with stellar strike out numbers (9.5/9 for his minor league career) and earned a spot as a Tigers AFL representative where he led the league in strikeouts last fall despite being a reliever. Also worth noting is the fact that Weinhardt has allowed just 3 homers in 135 professional innings.

His promotion at this point in time though is about effective roster utilization and it remains to be seen how long he’ll stick with the club beyond the All Star break. With a big series against the Twins coming up though he certainly has a chance to make an impression.