After a night in which it was discovered that Francisco Cruceta didn't just exist on the side of a milk carton, and would actually take the mound in a major league ballgame for the Tigers, Detroit might - if they dare - have more reason to be hopeful about its relief corps later on this season.
Both Fernando Rodney and Joel Zumaya threw well enough in their bullpen sessions yesterday to make the Tigers' training staff virtually gleeful.
"It was a very, very positive day," said Kevin Rand, the Tigers' head athletic trainer.
Six minutes (the span of time during which Rodney and Zumaya threw) doesn't seem like a lot of time to determine much of anything, but I admittedly don't know a whole lot about these sorts of things. This development might be even more encouraging for Zumaya, as this was the first time in his long rehabilitation that he threw a "true" bullpen session (with fastballs and change-ups, off a pitching mound).
As for Rodney, it's become good news any time he feels good following a throwing session, and this was his first since visiting the esteemed Dr. James Andrews for an examination. Rand told Jason Beck that Rodney was getting close to his normal delivery, which I assume means he was almost ready to let it rip as he would in a real game.
Depending on how both pitchers feel, more bullpen sessions will likely be scheduled this weekend, with Zumaya set to throw tomorrow and Rodney going either tomorrow or Sunday.