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A sometimes-irreverent look at Detroit's Boys of Summer, the Tigers, as they try to return to the top of the American League Central.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

No starter named yet for Wednesday; Below, Furbush are best bets

The Tigers have not yet announced a starter for Wednesday’s game against Oakland. The fifth spot in the rotation — where Phil Coke was slotted to start the season — has been vacant since the Tigers sent Charlie Furbush down after his second try at an audition for the role last Saturday.

“There’s some candidates, but we haven’t settled on anyone yet,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said.

The Tigers could recall Furbush, who excelled in the bullpen (1-1, 2.49 ERA in 21 2/3 IP) but was shaky in two starts (0-2, 8.59 ERA) lasting less than five innings each time. His last outing for Toledo was on Thursday, giving him six days rest before a potential return.

Andy Oliver, the Tigers’ other high-ceiling starting prospect with the Mud Hens, has not pitched well lately, and was scheduled to start Sunday night, so it’s unlikely the Tigers would force him to try again on three days rest.

Fast-rising uber-prospect Jacob Turner, who pitched in the Futures Game on Sunday, last pitched for Double-A Erie on Friday. That puts him right on schedule to pitch again Wednesday, should the Tigers desire a peek at him at the big-league level, but Leyland called the likelihood of him coming up in the next few weeks “longshot speculation.” GM Dave Dombrowski confirmed to Fox Sports' Jon Morosi Sunday that it would not be Turner.

That leaves a guy like Duane Below, the native Michigander who is 9-4 with a 3.13 ERA for Toledo this year, going 5-1 in his eight starts since June 4.

Or a trade candidate, should the organization pull off any one of the swaps for a starter it has been linked with recently.


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