Right-handed relief pitcher Octavio Dotel will begin a rehab assignment at with the Gulf Coast League Tigers starting Wednesday. Dotel has been sidelined since April 20 with elbow inflammation, and many fans were doubting whether he would pitch again this season.
Last year, Dotel was 5-3 with a 3.57 ERA and 2.30 FIP in 58 innings for the Tigers. He struck out over a batter per inning and walked 1.86 hitters per nine innings. The Tigers exercised a $3.5 million team option to bring Dotel back in 2013. This year, he hasn't been as sharp. He allowed seven runs in 4 2/3 innings with four strikeouts and four walks before going on the disabled list.
Dotel can be on rehab assignment for up to 30 days before the club needs to take him off the disabled list. With rosters expanding on September 1st, it is feasible that the Tigers will not need to make any changes to the 25 man roster to accommodate Dotel's return.
If Dotel can return to his 2012 form, this adds yet another late inning option for Jim Leyland. Dotel has plenty of postseason experience, including a championship with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2011. He also threw five scoreless innings during the Tigers' World Series run in 2012.
The club officially announced that Omar Infante will begin his rehab assignment with Triple-A Toledo Tuesday. Infante has been on the disabled list since July 4 with an ankle sprain.