The makeover of the Tigers' bullpen continued after this afternoon's victory over the Pirates. There has been another reliever called up from Toledo, and an infielder joins Joel Zumaya on the 60 day DL.
Via the Official Tigers Twitter:
Tigers optioned Villarreal to Toledo. Tigers will purchase contract of Gonzalez on Monday. Guillen will be transferred to 60-day DL.
Brayan Villarreal has an ERA of 6.46 in 14 appearances. The rookie reliever was living on borrowed time, being used less and less as the season progressed. Villarreall's last appearance was Friday night, allowing two hits and two runs in 1/3 of an inning. That was the proverbial nail in the coffin.
Replacing Villarreal in the bullpen will be Enrique Gonzalez, who was sent to Toledo back in April, much in thanks to an 11.81 ERA in five appearances (and the need to make roster room in order to activate Ryan Perry). Despite nailing down six saves, Gonzalez hasn't been exactly lights out with the Mud Hens, as a 1-1 record and 4.22 ERA in ten games attests.
This switch of unimpressive, low upside relievers feels like little more than the shuffling around of desk chairs on the Titanic. The Tigers needed to try something to settle down a bullpen currently in dire straits. But this is the best they can do?
When it comes to Carlos Guillen, the disinformation and propaganda coming from the injured infielder and the Tigers themselves was on this side of hilarious. He's been "weeks away" for what seems like several months. In fact, the Tigers' official site even reported Guillen was closer than ever on Saturday.
Guillen reportedly told Ismael Granadillo of El Nacional that he hopes to begin a minor-league rehab assignment in 10-15 days. From there, he said, he figures he needs three or four weeks on rehab to get used to game action again and get his timing back before he's ready to return to the big leagues.
Rehab? Uh...yeah. So much for that prediction.
Sorry, but Guillen is not coming back anytime soon from microfracture surgery on his knee. It just doesn't happen that quickly for anyone, let alone an injury prone, 34 year old 2nd baseman. This move confirms it.