Tom Gorzelanny

Joba Chamberlain

Joba Chamberlain released by the Tigers

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The Tigers DFA’d Joba Chamberlain a week ago. Unlike his DFA Mate, Tom Gorzelanny, Chamberlain did not accept an assignment to Toledo, nor did the Tigers manage to trade him. As such he was given his unconditional release this afternoon and he’s now a free agent.

Old people may remember when Bobby Cox was fired at the end of his first tour of duty managing the Braves. At the time owner Ted Turner was asked who the best guy was to replace him. And Turner famously said “Bobby Cox.” It was funny, but it’s also speaks to a change that was made for the sake of making a change. SOMETHING had to be done, so fire Cox, even if we can’t really see how we can do better than him.

It’s something of the same situation with Joba, I think. His season in Detroit was not good by any stretch. He made 30 appearances on the year, posting a 4.09 ERA and an ugly 1.682 WHIP while striking out 15 and walking five in 22 innings. But the guys who were called up when Chamberlain and Gorzelanny were let go — Jeff Ferrell and Drew VerHagen — have been cover-your-eyes bad. As I watched each of those lads toil for the Tigers last weekend I kept thinking “man, wouldn’t they rather have Joba there?”

Maybe at some point this summer Brad Ausmus will wish he had a merely bad reliever instead of a terrible one. But by then Chamberlain will likely have latched on someplace else, as most relievers do.

Tom Gorzelanny clears waivers, stays with Tigers at Triple-A

Milwaukee Brewers v Pittsburgh Pirates
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Left-hander Tom Gorzelanny went unclaimed on waivers after being designated for assignment by Detroit and will remain with the Tigers at Triple-A.

Gorzelanny signed a one-year deal this offseason with plans to be a setup man for the Tigers, but they cut bait after he allowed 17 runs in 24 innings. He looked as bad as those numbers suggest, but Gorzelanny has a pretty solid track record when healthy and could find himself back in Detroit at some point.

For now the 32-year-old veteran of 11 big-league seasons will pitch for Toledo.

The Tigers have designated Joba Chamberlain and Tom Gorzelanny for assignment

Joba Chamberlain
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This seemed inevitable:

Chamberlain has been profoundly unreliable, particularly of late. He has made 30 appearances on the year, posting a 4.09 ERA and an ugly 1.682 WHIP while striking out 15 and walking five in 22 innings.

The Tigers likewise DFA’d Tom Gorzelanny, who has an even worse 6.38 ERA in 30 appearances of his own while allowing a hideous 32 hits and 15 walks in in 24 innings.

The corresponding moves: calling up Jeff Ferrell and Drew VerHagen from Toledo. Both are converted starters, VerHagen only being converted a month ago.

The Tigers’ bullpen has stunk on ice for years now. Reshuffling now while the Tigers are scuffling can’t hurt.