We all knew Joel Zumaya was returning to the Detroit Tigers beginning with tonight's game in San Diego. What we didn't know is who would be making room for him on the 25-man roster. Would it be Freddy Dolsi (even though he's been pitching too well to go)? Casey Fossum (even though he might be able to fill that fifth slot in the starting rotation)? Zach Miner (even though he's sort of the utility man of the bullpen)? How about Denny Bautista? No "even though" with him.
That's exactly how it shook out. This afternoon, the Tigers sent Bautista down to Triple-A to open up a spot for Zumaya. It's kind of a tough break for a player who seemed as if he might be indispensable earlier this season, but if Zumaya and Rodney end up taking most of the key set-up innings and Dolsi keeps throwing the way he has been, there's really not much of a role for him right now. Bautista hadn't earned Jim Leyland's trust since returning from a shoulder injury earlier this month, and most of his outings have come in mop-up duty while the Tigers see if he can keep his pitches in the strike zone.
For the season, Bautista has pitched in 19 innings, compiling an 0-1 record and 3.32 ERA with 10 strikeouts and 14 walks.