April 8, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Daniel Schlereth (55) pitches during the sixth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE
Detroit Tigers fans finally got their wish, as Dave Dombrowski announced left handed reliever Daniel Schlereth was optioned to Toledo. Right handed pitcher Thad Weber was the beneficiary of the demotion, getting the call up to Detroit, and will be in the bullpen for game 2 of today's doubleheader against the Texas Rangers.
Schlereth's final appearance before the demotion was in game 1 of the day/night twin bill, and was atypical, in that he didn't walk a batter. But Schlereth still allowed 3 hits, one a home run, in 2 innings of work. His ERA and WHIP actually went down, from 12.60 and 3.20 to 10.39 and 2,71, respectively. Unfortunately, It wasn't nearly encouraging enough of a performance to keep him on the 25 man roster.
As a left handed reliever, Schlereth only had 2 jobs to do; throw strikes and get left handed batters out. He had trouble doing either this season.
Dombrowski gave the reasoning behind Schlereth's demotion:
"One, we need to get Schlereth pitching better," said team president and general manager Dave Dombrowski. "He has not really thrown very well, which we have told him. He pitched very well for us the second half (of last season), but he has not pitched well this year. We do need another arm to protect us at this point. We like (Schlereth), but he consistently hasn’t thrown strikes for us, mostly with his fastball. When he has gotten out there he hasn’t done a real good job."
The 27 year old Weber is not a high level prospect, by any definition. But he had won both his starts with the Mud Hens, allowing only 1 run and and 5 hits, striking out 15 in 12 innings. 2011 was a completely different story. Weber was 5-12 with a 5.65 ERA in 27 starts. But he's hot right now, and the Tigers need an extra arm this weekend.
As for Schlereth, this is deja vu. He was optioned to Toldeo last season as well, and it straightened him out. He posted a 4.95 ERA in the first half of 2011. After returning from Toledo, Schlereth was the pitcher the Tigers thought he could be, posting a 1.93 ERA in 23.1 innings.
Let's hope Schlereth getting his work in away from the big stage, and from fans who have spewed nothing but vitriol (much of it deserved, to be honest) whenever he took the mound, works a second time.