The Tigers and bullpen woes go together like peanut butter and jelly. Which makes it pretty handy that their Triple-A affiliate is less than 60 miles down I-75 from Comerica Park. They shuffle their deck of relievers an awful lot in Detroit, and this year’s shuffling has begun, exactly one week into the season.
Today the Tigers optioned righty Bruce Rondon to Triple-A Toledo and purchased the contract of right-hander Joe Jimenez. Rondon has given up six runs over 1.1 innings, which is a cool 40.50 ERA. He’s allowed four hits, walked three and had only one strikeout in three games. Rondon throws hard and hard throwing is all the rage these days, but you still have to, you know, pitch well.
Jimenez is 21. He’s pitched two innings for the Mudhens and has struck out three, allowing no runs. He’s also gonna be tired for this afternoon’s game against the Red Sox as he found out he was being called up when his manager knocked on his hotel door at 5:45 AM.
Pfft. I woke up at 5:45 AM too and you don’t see me flagging. Indeed, I could sit on my couch and do this ALL DAY.
As long as there were snacks and stuff.
Newsday’s Marc Carig reports that the Mets may move Asdrubal Cabrera to second base when he returns from the disabled list. Cabrera has been on the disabled list since June 13 with a sprained left thumb, but he’s expected to be activated on Friday.
Cabrera, 31, last played second base in 2014 with the Nationals. He has played shortstop exclusively as a Met the last two seasons. Jose Reyes would continue to play shortstop if the Mets were to go through with the position change. Cabrera would displace T.J. Rivera, who has been playing second base in place of the injured Neil Walker.
In 196 plate appearances this season, Cabrera is hitting .244/.321/.392 with six home runs and 20 RBI. He has made 11 defensive errors, which is tied for the third-most among shortstops behind Tim Anderson (16) and Dansby Swanson (12).
Brewers closer Corey Knebel set a modern major league record for relievers to start a season, as Thursday’s appearance marked his 38th consecutive appearance with a strikeout. He set down the side in order in the ninth inning, striking Josh Bell out to start the frame.
Aroldis Chapman held the record previously, recording a strikeout in his first 37 appearances of the season in 2014 with the Reds.
Knebel, 25, has flown under the radar despite having an incredibly good season. He moved into the closer’s role in mid-May when Neftali Feliz, now a free agent, struggled. After Thursday’s appearance, Knebel is 12-for-15 in save chances with a 0.96 ERA and a 65/17 K/BB ratio in 37 2/3 innings.