So after a day to stew it over -- or to keep the information to themselves anyway -- the Tigers made the decision to call up lefty reliever Daniel Schlereth from Triple-A Toledo to replace Fu-Te Ni in the bullpen. Now all the players traded for last December are with the big league club, if you're keeping track.
ESPN analyst Mark Schlereth reports the happy news on Twitter:
Daddy's LiL fella just got the call! See you in Detroit boy. Very proud of you son and b/c of baseball but b/c of the man you've become!
(via Jason Beck, who first reported the Schlereth news).
If there's one thing you can say about Schlereth, it's that he misses a lot of bats. Oftentimes that's because the batter can't hit the ball, and he's striking out batters at a very high (10.60 per nine innings) rate. When Schlereth's not missing bats, he's missing the plate, though (6 walks per nine innings). That's the problem.
May was actually his best month for not issuing the free pass, but June was his best for total baserunners. He is, in a word, inconsistent. To wit: In his last 10 innings pitched, he issued seven walks. However in his last 10 games, he issued walks in just three of them.
Of course if you're to have a guy who strikes out a lot and walks a few too many, the bullpen is the best place to him. If Jim Leyland manages to use Schlereth mostly against left-handers -- a concept Leyland seems to dislike -- he could be quite an effective pitcher. His FIP split against left-handers is a crisp 2.42. Actually it's only slightly worse against right-handers but he walks a lot more of them.
I feel like it may still be a bit early, as he has to get his control down, but this is the best move the Tigers could have made. The others I had in mind for the promotion were Robbie Weinhardt, who will eventually get the call. He just came off a minor league rehab assignment in Short Season A ball, however, so that was pretty unlikely. I feared it could be something crazy like Billy Buckner. And besides that, well, not a lot really stands out to you in Toledo or Double-A Erie right now.
This move should be pretty exciting, one way or the other.