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Today's Game of Pitching Musical Chairs

Andrew Miller gets the organizational smackdown! Okay, maybe that's putting it harshly. Maybe this send down isn't really a "smackdown." But the Tigers didn't just send Andrew Miller to Toledo or Erie. They shuttled him about as far down the organizational totem pole as they could, sending him to Lakeland.

Is this so Miller can work on some issues in a more private setting, up close with Tigers coaches? Possibly. Danny Knobler says the move is "procedural," since the Flying Tigers' season ends this weekend, and Miller is likely to be called back up on September 1. So maybe Detroit just wanted to clear a roster spot for Friday's starting pitcher (more on that later).

But if Miller does pitch again this season for the Tigers, it appears he'll contribute out of the bullpen. Right now, he seems to be out of the starting rotation for the rest of 2007. Last night's disastrous outing couldn't have inspired much confidence.

(Thanks to Mike McClary for the instant message heads-up.)

Taking Miller's spot on the major league roster will be Virgil Vasquez, who's been tabbed to start for the Tigers on Friday. (Originally, the plan was to start Chad Durbin, but with the bullpen having to pitch so many innings the last two games, he's needed as a reliever.)

Players to be named later are now being named. St. Louis completed the Mike Maroth deal by sending pitcher Chris Lambert to Detroit. The right-handed Lambert pitched much of the season with Triple-A Memphis, notching a 1-4 record and 7.49 ERA in 57 2/3 innings (28 games, four starts). He also started five games for Double-A Springfield, going 0-2 with a 3.42 ERA in 26 1/3 innings. Lambert will be assigned to Triple-A Toledo. (via Tiger Tales)

And as expected, the Cubs sent left-hander Clay Rapada to the Tigers to complete their deal for Craig Monroe. In 55 appearances (55 1/3 innings) for Triple-A Iowa, Rapada posted a 7-2 record with a 3.58 ERA and 17 saves. He also has 50 strikeouts for the season.

Rapada will join Triple-A Toledo, and after the Mud Hens finish their season (they're in the International League playoffs, remember), he could get called up to Detroit. To clear space on the 40-man roster for Rapada, Aquilino Lopez was optioned outright to Toledo. Since Lopez was already with the Mud Hens, I guess that just makes it more official.

Yorman Bazardo and Jose Capellan will get the call-up to Detroit, when rosters expand on September 1. (Omar Infante and Mike Hessman will join the Tigers on the position player side.)