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VerHagen heads to DL; Tigers recall Barbato

MLB.com @beckjason

CINCINNATI -- Johnny Barbato was in Lawrenceville, Ga., on Tuesday night, pitching an inning out of the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens' bullpen in a victory over Gwinnett. A few hours later, he was on his way to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport for a 7:30 a.m. ET flight to Cincinnati and a 12:35 p.m. game out of the Tigers' bullpen.

Such is life for a reliever on the shuttle between Triple-A and the Majors, something the Tigers have had to do a lot amidst their pitching injuries. It's an easy hour's drive when Toledo and Detroit are playing at home; a Toledo-Cincinnati trip wouldn't have been long either. When both teams are on the road, however, it becomes an adventure.

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CINCINNATI -- Johnny Barbato was in Lawrenceville, Ga., on Tuesday night, pitching an inning out of the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens' bullpen in a victory over Gwinnett. A few hours later, he was on his way to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport for a 7:30 a.m. ET flight to Cincinnati and a 12:35 p.m. game out of the Tigers' bullpen.

Such is life for a reliever on the shuttle between Triple-A and the Majors, something the Tigers have had to do a lot amidst their pitching injuries. It's an easy hour's drive when Toledo and Detroit are playing at home; a Toledo-Cincinnati trip wouldn't have been long either. When both teams are on the road, however, it becomes an adventure.

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"It's just another day," Barbato said. "It is what it is. You learn to roll."

Barbato's return was the other end of Drew VerHagen's move to the 10-day disabled list with a broken nose suffered on a throw that hit him in the face covering first base Tuesday night. VerHagen was scheduled to see a doctor Wednesday afternoon to see if his sinus cavity remains in place, according to manager Ron Gardenhire.

VerHagen was going to miss at least four or five days regardless, Gardenhire said. Add in the fact that Warwick Saupold and Buck Farmer each threw 40-plus pitches in relief of Matthew Boyd on Tuesday night, and the move for a fresh arm was relatively simple.

Barbato pitched in five games for the Tigers earlier this season, allowing three runs on six hits over 5 1/3 innings with three walks and two strikeouts. Detroit optioned him to Toledo in mid-May with instructions to work on throwing strikes more consistently. He has thrown 14 innings since his last walk May 12, and he tossed 13 scoreless innings on three hits before Xavier Avery homered off of him Tuesday night.

The Tigers will likely have the shuttle working again this weekend. Though Detroit hasn't announced a starting pitcher for Saturday's game in Cleveland, Francisco Liriano is expected to return from the DL to make that start, which will require another roster move.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.

Detroit Tigers, Johnny Barbato, Drew VerHagen