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Middle Relief

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The key is to find the next Benoit or the next Downs...

...

One guy who comes to mind? Taylor Buchholz, who was recently claimed by Toronto. Another, if available, is Jose Arredondo.

Yes. I agree with this. Arredondo would be a great addition.

Another decent option would be Chad Qualls. He got lit up this season but he's been effective his whole career and his BABIP was far above career norms.

Other hard-throwing guys I'd take a look at if available: Stokes, Juan Guitierrez, Jepsen, Veras.

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Coke starting once the regular season begins isn't a sure thing. I think giving him a look there will only be a fallback in case they don't add a solid starter or two in the offseason.

It's a shame that so much attention needs to be spent on the bullpen after the recent drafts appeared so reliever-heavy, especially the college guys.

Great call on both points LG

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It's a shame that so much attention needs to be spent on the bullpen after the recent drafts appeared so reliever-heavy, especially the college guys.

That's kind of true. But also recall that Perry has spent 2 years pitching decent middle relief, and that Schlereth and Weinhardt look to be pretty close to being regulars. And one of them turned into Aubrey Huff. So it's not totally a bust.

It does seem excessively stupid to go so crazy on college relievers and then always be talking about needing a "veteran bullpen guy" or whatever.

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That's kind of true. But also recall that Perry has spent 2 years pitching decent middle relief, and that Schlereth and Weinhardt look to be pretty close to being regulars. And one of them turned into Aubrey Huff. So it's not totally a bust.

It does seem excessively stupid to go so crazy on college relievers and then always be talking about needing a "veteran bullpen guy" or whatever.

What does Schlereth have to do with the 2008 draft? The only drafts you can really point his origins to are the 2002 and 2005 drafts.

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That's kind of true. But also recall that Perry has spent 2 years pitching decent middle relief, and that Schlereth and Weinhardt look to be pretty close to being regulars. And one of them turned into Aubrey Huff. So it's not totally a bust.

It does seem excessively stupid to go so crazy on college relievers and then always be talking about needing a "veteran bullpen guy" or whatever.

But shouldn't you hit home on more than just your first round pick? Shouldn't Perry have been all but a guarantee? (as much as you can guarantee that a prospect has a major league impact) To me, you really have to look beyond Perry to see how successful the Tigers have been with drafting RP. And I don't think you can include Schlereth, as he wasn't drafted by the Tigers and wasn't acquired by any of the RP prospects that we did draft. But I do like Schlereth and think he will be a significant contributor in 2011.

So really, it's just Perry and Weinhardt so far (and Weinhardt has not been great). Jacobson for Huff was a bad trade because we gave up a real prospect and absorbed Huff's contract (something no one else was doing at the deadline). Should have been an either or trade.

Anyway, Satterwhite and Green have been hurt. Jacobson was traded. But where is Stohr, Todd, Shawler, Gayhart, and Conn? Throw into the mix other RP's that once were thought to be on their way to the majors, such as Rainwater, Sorbz, Simons, and Fien (plus others).

Injuries will happen (and they have). Most guys will never pan out, same as other organizations. But we aren't getting anyone over the hump other than Perry, and I think that shows a real weakness in the organization's ability to develop pitching. And now that weakness is impacting the major league roster because we're going to have to spend money to fill holes that were intended to be filled internally.

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The key is to find the next Benoit or the next Downs...

In Benoit's case, you have an effective pitcher who went down with Tommy John Surgery in 2008 and was available on the cheap after the recovery. Find guys who were effective in the 2007-2008 timeframe and have had Tommy John in the past two years and get him for cheap on the rebound.

One guy who comes to mind? Taylor Buchholz, who was recently claimed by Toronto. Another, if available, is Jose Arredondo.

Sure, ideally. But isn't this one of those things that is easier said than done? And haven't the Tigers dabbled in this a bit in recent years without success? Mantei and Avery come to mind. But you are narrowing the pool to guys returning from specific injuries that have higher success rates and more predictable recovery times. I don't doubt that's a good way to build a bullpen, but I somehow doubt that Leyland will be on board with it. If I were to bet on this, I'd say that we spend money on a multi-year deal for a middle reliever.

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Most guys will never pan out

While true, I'd hope the hit rate on college relievers picked in the front half of the draft would be better than the overall mark. I think if you're going to spend a fairly early pick on a reliever, you need to be really confident in his MLB outlook (aside from injuries). And if he's a college reliever, confident that he'll make a quick ascent to the MLB level. If that's not realistic, then spend those picks on higher-ceiling SPs and position players.

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Sure, ideally. But isn't this one of those things that is easier said than done? And haven't the Tigers dabbled in this a bit in recent years without success? Mantei and Avery come to mind. But you are narrowing the pool to guys returning from specific injuries that have higher success rates and more predictable recovery times. I don't doubt that's a good way to build a bullpen, but I somehow doubt that Leyland will be on board with it. If I were to bet on this, I'd say that we spend money on a multi-year deal for a middle reliever.

Mantei and Avery were both at the end when signed..

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What does Schlereth have to do with the 2008 draft? The only drafts you can really point his origins to are the 2002 and 2005 drafts.

Well, 2008 is when he was drafted, and reportedly the Tigers were interested in him back then in addition to being interested in him when the time came to trade. It's not a direct connection like Perry or Green or Satterwhite but it's worth mentioning.

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Many times, teams find middle relievers by accident. I think the Tigers have a couple good middle relievers already on the roster. I think Armando would do well in middle relief and I think Oliver would do well in that role.

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The key is to find the next Benoit or the next Downs...

In Benoit's case, you have an effective pitcher who went down with Tommy John Surgery in 2008 and was available on the cheap after the recovery. Find guys who were effective in the 2007-2008 timeframe and have had Tommy John in the past two years and get him for cheap on the rebound.

One guy who comes to mind? Taylor Buchholz, who was recently claimed by Toronto. Another, if available, is Jose Arredondo.

Justin Duchscherer might be another guy to look at.

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