Normally you like to get a few names in the headlines for search engine optimization purposes. So maybe I should have mentioned right from the start that the Tigers plan to call up Southfield native and left-handed reliever Darin Downs as well as recall right-hander Jose Ortega. Of course I also have to mention the move is being made because Britton, Mich., native Duane Below is making the start Tuesday in place of Max Scherzer, who is suffering from a sore left hamstring. Right-handed reliever Luis Marte and infielder Danny Worth are being optioned to make room.
Well, you can see why I didn't bother trying to get all of that in a headline. What is that, six names for the headline?
And beside that, we'll have to put together a separate story Tuesday when the Tigers announce which 40-man roster member is being designated for assignment to make room for Downs.
Well, everything is a mess, anyway.
The Tigers don't feel like Scherzer's sore hamstring is a big worry. It apparently bothered him in Tampa. They're going to skip his next start on general principle, then hopefully slot him back in in five days. So that's why Below's going to start.
Meanwhile, the bullpen got a workout after Doug Fister was unable to make it out of the fifth inning. Luis Marte allowed an inherited run to score but otherwise did fine. With the bullpen stretched, the Tigers thought the best idea would be to bring up some fresh arms for the time being.
So expect more in-depth stories Tuesday, but thumb nail sketches will suffice for now, I hope.
Downs, who was born in Southfield but went to school in Florida, has been in the minors for parts of 10 seasons. Most of his career to this point was spent with the Cubs and Rays organizations. At times, he's been used as a starter. This year, his first in the Tigers' organization, he has only relieved. With the Mud Hens, he has a 2.22 ERA with 10.5 strikeouts and 2.5 walks per nine innings.
The invaluable Toledo Blade reporter John Wagner has some additional stats worth checking out and notes:
He isn't a hard thrower, but he has done a great job of keeping inherited baserunners from scoring. He has inherited 17 baserunners this season, and only two have scored.
Downs might be best known for suffering a fractured skull in 2009. There's a must-read story about that in the Tampa Bay Times from 2009. If and when Downs pitches for the Tigers this year, it will be a dream-come-true MLB debut that you can't help but feel means something a little extra special.
Ortega made one appearance for the Tigers earlier this year, allowing two hits and recording one out. With the Mud Hens, he has a 4.23 ERA with a bunch of strikeouts but way too many walks.