The I-75 shuttle between Detroit and Toledo was busy after the Tigers’ 8-3 win over the Athletics Tuesday night.
Duane Below, the starting pitcher for Wednesday’s game, was called up from Triple-A Toledo. Coming up with him is pitcher Charlie Furbush, one of the other candidates for that fifth spot in the starting rotation.
To make room for Below and the extra reliever that the bullpen now needs, reliever Adam Wilk and outfielder Casper Wells were sent down to Toledo.
Furbush is going to stay in the Tigers’ bullpen for now, despite being moved to the starting rotation before his demotion to Toledo. As mentioned, he was one of the options the Tigers had for Wednesday’s start. But Furbush struggled in his two appearances as a starter, going 0-2 with an 8.59 ERA in just 7 1/3 innings. As a reliever, Furbush had much more big league success, posting a 2.49 ERA with 17 strikeouts in 21 2/3 innings.
Wilk hadn’t seen much action with the Tigers, making just five appearances and compiling a 5.40 ERA. He’ll likely replace Below in the Mud Hens’ starting rotation, where he had a 4-5 record and 3.75 ERA in 10 starts.
For Wells, the demotion is a rough development. He’s essentially losing out in a roster squeeze. The Tigers needed to keep Andy Dirks as a left-handed bat, with Austin Jackson and Magglio Ordonez in the starting lineup. And Ryan Raburn could work in as a right-handed reserve outfielder. (Whether you think he deserves it or not, his contract effectively keeps him on the roster.)
In 124 plate appearances, Wells batted .259/.325/.455 with four home runs and 12 RBIs. He played all three outfield positions, but saw the majority of his time in right field while Ordonez was out. Right now, there just isn’t a spot for him.