Tigers trying to trade for starter
Sources tell me the Tigers, understandably worried about the back end of their rotation, are looking to trade for another starting pitcher, preferably one who throws left handed.
That tells me they don't expect Dontrelle Willis to return any time soon,
Luke French, who was called up briefly and then sent back down to Toledo, has been recalled and will start Friday night in Minnesota in place of Alfredo Figaro, who has been returned to the minors after two starts, one good and one bad.
The Tigers need a fifth starter who can eat up innings and keep them in the ballgame, at least giving them a chance to win.
Meanwhile, the question remains: What are they going to do with Nate Robertson?
Robertson, who was unsuccessful in his bid to reclaim his place in the starting rotation during spring training, was scheduled to undergo surgery on his left elbow on Tuesday to remove a "mass" that was causing him to lose feeling in his ring and pinkie fingers.
Robertson underwent Tommy John ligament replacement surgery on that same elbow in 1998.
Banished to the bullpen this season, Robertson has a 7.71 ERA, having allowed 25 hits and 14 walks in 21 appearances. And things were getting worse. He had retired just two of the nine batters he faced in his last four appearances.
To replace Robertson, the Tigers have called up lefty Fu-Te Ni, who had been Toledo's most effective relief pitcher this season. Left-handed hitters were batting .184 against Ni when he was called up, which should give you an idea what his role will be.
But it is not the bullpen that worries Jim Leyland as the Tigers near the halfway point in the season. It is their starting rotation.