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 Tigers have flexibility in rotation

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PostSubject: Tigers have flexibility in rotation   Sun Sep 06, 2009 6:04 pm

Tigers have flexibility in rotation
Robertson picking up slack for struggling Galarraga

By Alden Gonzalez / MLB.com

09/06/09 2:18 PM ET

ST. PETERSBURG -- After Armando Galarraga's rough outing on Saturday night in which he gave up six runs in just 2 1/3 innings, thoughts on the Tigers' starting staff weren't very positive going into the series finale against the Rays on Sunday.

But they should be, because Detroit at least has options in its rotation.

Thanks to Nate Robertson's two solid starts for the Tigers recently, manager Jim Leyland has depth in the starting staff, one that has Rick Porcello and Justin Verlander quickly piling up innings and veteran Jarrod Washburn with a balky left knee.

"It's nice to at least have a couple of backups," said Leyland. He added that Washburn's knee "feels better now" and it's "the best he's felt physically."

Leyland has yet to announce what his plans are for Galarraga -- though he doesn't think the righty is injured -- and Robertson is still technically "on hold." With Sunday starter Edwin Jackson's next start slated for Friday and Rick Porcello's turn coming Sunday because of Monday's off-day, Detroit essentially has a decision to make between Galarraga and Robertson on Saturday.

Considering how the two have looked recently, that spot would likely go to Robertson. But the best part about this equation is that, with the season winding down and the arms starting to get fatigued, the Tigers have choices.

"It's kind of a good problem to have," Robertson said. "I'm glad that I've been able to go out there and create an issue that is beneficial."

Days after his last start on Thursday, Robertson still didn't know whether his next turn would come out of the bullpen or at the beginning of a game. The 32-year-old left-hander admits starting is what he's most comfortable doing, considering 165 of his 197 career games in the big leagues have come as a starter.

But he just wants to help out -- no matter what point in the game he comes in.

"As a player, you just want to do the work that you know to do and prepare yourself, and just make yourself available to your manager for when he puts you out there," Robertson said about his between-starts routine when things are up in the air. "Yeah, it changes things a little bit, but there's a lot of things going on right now with the team, and I understand that. You just have to keep a good attitude and be ready to go when you're called, that's the bottom line."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola
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PostSubject: Re: Tigers have flexibility in rotation   Sun Sep 06, 2009 10:16 pm

Galarraga out, Robertson in
BECK'S BLOG
Posted on September 6, 2009 at 6:45 PM

ST. PETERSBURG - After Sunday's come-from-behind 5-3 win, Jim Leyland's starting rotation shrunk from six to five.

Coming off a Saturday outing when he gave up six runs in just 2 1/3 innings of work, the Tigers' skipper announced that Armando Galarraga was going to be used out of the bullpen and Nate Robertson would continue to be a starter.

Sunday starter Edwin Jackson will be given an extra day of rest and start on Saturday, and Robertson will go in the series opener against the Blue Jays on Friday.

How long Robertson will go on as the starter is still unknown, but Leyland isn't looking at it as a one-shot deal.

"I am thinking Galarraga is out of the rotation and maybe Nate can go on," Leyland said. "I'm hoping [Robertson is] pretty fresh, and that can be big for us. But I'm not going to start Galarraga at this time."

Galarraga, battling some right elbow inflammation, was originally slated to start for Triple-A Toledo on Friday but started in the big leagues on Saturday so Jarrod Washburn could rest his balky left knee.

Leyland said prior to Sunday's game that he didn't think anything was physically wrong with Galarraga, but after he gave up four hits and three walks and threw 54 pitches before even getting out of the third, he knew it was time to make a change.

"I just don't think things are totally right," Leyland said. "At this juncture, I'm not planning on starting him - at this juncture. But saying that, maybe a little more rest, we can tinker around in the bullpen a little bit there, depending on Washburn. We've still got some things up in the air, so I can't set anything in stone, but my intention right now is not to start him."

-- Alden Gonzalez


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PostSubject: Re: Tigers have flexibility in rotation   Mon Sep 07, 2009 9:24 pm

I feel bad for Gala, but I really like how Nate has been doing since coming off the DL.
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PostSubject: Re: Tigers have flexibility in rotation   Mon Sep 07, 2009 10:10 pm

If you consider how bad JV was last year, and how good AG was... then this year it was the reverse... Hopefully next year both will be great when they figure what area of Galas' mechanics are messed up.

Can you picture J. Verlander , :jackson: , R. Porcello , A. Galarraga and J. Bonderman or :nate: all pitching great next year! Champagne


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PostSubject: Re: Tigers have flexibility in rotation   Mon Sep 07, 2009 10:17 pm

Deadly!

Then on the hitting end, a healthy Inge, Cabrera, Granderson, maybe a reformed Magglio, Carlos, Avila.

Goodness! That's freaking destructive!
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PostSubject: Re: Tigers have flexibility in rotation   Mon Sep 07, 2009 10:28 pm

gdennis59 wrote:
Deadly!

Then on the hitting end, a healthy Inge, Cabrera, Granderson, maybe a reformed Magglio, Carlos, Avila.

Goodness! That's freaking destructive!

And hopefully the on base hitting skills of gold glove Polly!

Hot, hot, hot! This could be the frightening team they expected last year.


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PostSubject: Re: Tigers have flexibility in rotation   Mon Sep 07, 2009 10:32 pm

Whooo!

And they're coming together in the playoffs! Robertson and Bondo came back and are strong, our hitting is getting it done, though not in the way we'd hope. It's still getting better =]
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