So can we blame at least some of Jarrod Washburn's struggles on a sore right knee? The Tigers' big, shiny trade deadline acquistion has been, how do you say, kind of awful in four of his six starts since arriving from the Seattle Mariners. His ERA in Detroit thus far is 6.81.
A popular theory - and highly likely reason - for Washburn's pitching troubles has been Comerica Park's smaller dimensions and the Tigers' lesser defensive range in the outfield. Many of those fly balls that have soared over the fence or dropped into gaps were masked by Safeco Field's vast left-center field and three outfielders with centerfielder range.
But for those still scratching their heads as to why Washburn's sinker hasn't had the same movement on it, why those fastballs haven't had much velocity on them, and why so many of his pitches are left up in the strike zone for opposing batters to mash, Jon Paul Morosi may have discovered the most plausible reason.
Two team sources told Morosi that Washburn has been fighting soreness in his right knee and has been receiving treatment. No word on whether Washburn alerted the Tigers' training staff to the problem or if Kevin Rand had to hold a doll up to him and say, "Show me on the doll where it hurts, Jarrod." But for now, he's still scheduled to make his next start, which would be Saturday at Tampa Bay.
Thanks to those who posted this news in the comments or sent along an e-mail. You know who you are.