The Tigers have announced who will replace recently demoted Rick Porcello in the rotation.To do so, they passed over arms in Toledo, decided to keep the bullpen intact, and went to Erie instead.
Via a tweet from current Fox Sports baseball pundit and former Tigers beat writer Jon Paul Morosi:
#Tigers plan to call up Andy Oliver to start Friday vs. #Braves, source says. #Detroit #MLB
The hard throwing, left handed Oliver has been fast tracked through the Tigers system since he was selected in the 2nd round of the 2009 draft. He pitched in the Arizona Fall League (1-1, 2.81 ERA in 11 games), then started his Tigers career this spring playing AA ball in Erie.
In the Eastern League, Oliver has a 6-4 record, with a 3.61 ERA and 1.28 WHIP, in 77.1 innings over 14 starts.
Oliver has had an up and down season. His April ERA was 5.03, but in May it dropped to 2.36. But his 4 June starts have reflected his up and down season, posting ERA of 4,28.
Oliver did make a good impression during spring training, even if it was only in a couple of appearances (0.00 ERA in 3 IP). The Tigers placing him in Erie to start the season showed their confidence in the young lefty, so it's not a total surprise Oliver got the call.
I don't think any of us can say for sure if Oliver's promotion to the big club will only be a one game experiment, but it's quite likely. Best case scenario is Porcello discovering his sinker as quickly as Max Scherzer fixed his mechanics, while Oliver is only up to get a cup of coffee and some exposure to MLB bats.
But no one thought Brennan Boesch was going to end up a lineup fixture either...