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Tigers Sign Lefty Reliever John Bale To Minor League Deal

With the decision to move Phil Coke to the starting rotation, leaving relatively untested lefties Daniel Schlereth and Brad Thomas, the Detroit Tigers could probably use another left-handed reliever.

There have been reports Detroit is looking at J.C. Romero, while others believe the Tigers don’t feel they need another lefty.

But the team is bringing in at least one pitcher to try out for a job in Spring Training, signing John Bale to a minor league deal on Friday. Bale, 36, last pitched in the majors in 2009 with the Kansas City Royals. Jon Paul Morosi, in reporting the signing, also writes that Bale pitched last year in Japan with the Hiroshima Carp.

In 2009 with Kansas City, Bale pitched in 43 games, compiling a 5.72 ERA with 21 strikeouts in 28 1/3 innings.

Against left-handed hitters, which would presumably be his primary role if he made the major league club, Bale allowed a .238/.322/.325 average in 267 plate appearances.

As’s Jason Beck points out on Twitter, Bale even has some success against lefty sluggers in the AL Central. The Minnesota TwinsJustin Morneau is 2-for-10 versus Bale. But Joe Mauer is 4-for-9, so don’t get too excited.