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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.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

No surprise in first camp cuts, as Tigers release Pauley

There were no shockers when the Tigers announced their first cuts of spring training on Monday, cutting nine players to get down to 48 in the big league camp — not even considering the one familiar name on the list.

Four of the players were spare catchers — Rob Brantly (3rd round/2010), Curt Casali (10th/2011), Patrick Leyland (8th/2010) and James McCann (2nd/2011) — the organization's recently added depth at the position, no longer necessary at this point in camp. Prized third-base prospect Nick Castellanos and infielder/outfielder Justin Henry were also sent down to the minor league camp on Monday, while infielder Hernan Perez and outfielder Avisail Garcia were told that their contracts would be optioned down on Wednesday.

But the only outright cut was reliever David Pauley, who'd never really found any success with the Tigers after coming over from Seattle with Doug Fister in last year's trade deadline deal.

Despite manager Jim Leyland insisting at the start of camp that Pauley was "better than we saw last year" and that the team wouldn't "write him off and forget about him," Pauley did nothing to help convince the Tigers to keep him around. The 28-year-old gave up eight hits and five earned runs in his 2 2/3 innings of work this spring (for a 16.87 ERA), after seeing his ERA more than double (2.15 to 5.95) in the transition from the Mariners to the Tigers.

At the time of the trade, with the Tigers bullpen struggling to bridge the gap between the starters and the back end, the addition of Pauley seemed like it might be nearly as important as grabbing another starter in Fister.

It just never worked out that way.

[NOTE: In a strictly procedural move, the Tigers placed Victor Martinez on the 60-day disabled list on Tuesday. He had the first of two knee surgeries on Jan. 27]

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