DETROIT -- For the second time in three days, the Tigers are apparently sending a starter to the bullpen. In the case of Shane Greene, however, they're hoping his role change coming off the disabled list will give them an impact arm to help a relief corps that has been
DETROIT -- For the second time in three days, the Tigers are apparently sending a starter to the bullpen. In the case of Shane Greene, however, they're hoping his role change coming off the disabled list will give them an impact arm to help a relief corps that has been inconsistent in recent weeks.
The Tigers activated Greene from the 15-day disabled list after Friday's 10-3 win over the White Sox. To make room on the 25-man roster, Detroit optioned reliever Buck Farmer to Triple-A Toledo.
Tigers officials didn't comment on the move postgame, but it's expected that Greene will work out of the bullpen, a shift manager Brad Ausmus hinted at earlier in the week.
"I think there's kind of a split camp on whether he should be a reliever or a starter," Ausmus said Wednesday. "Some think he could be a setup-type relief pitcher, and some people think he's got enough pitches to start. And I don't know that I have an answer as to which he's better at."
Greene won the Tigers' fifth-starter competition out of Spring Training and made three starts before a blister on his right middle finger forced him out of an April 24 loss to the Indians. Before he started, however, he earned the save in the Tigers' Opening Day win at Miami, tossing a perfect 11th inning to finish off an 8-7 victory.
Greene, for his part, has said consistently he just wants to pitch, whatever the role. He made three Minor League rehab starts, tossing 11 innings of one-run ball between Class A West Michigan and Toledo, but his longest outing lasted 4 2/3 innings over 78 pitches.
The Tigers have struggled to bridge the gap between their starters and closer Francisco Rodriguez, who recovered from season-opening struggles to become the most consistent reliever on the staff. Mark Lowe has battled consistency issues for much of the season's first two months, while Justin Wilson followed a scoreless April with a rough May. Alex Wilson has struggled to return to last year's form after battling a sore arm in Spring Training.
Greene could fit in a number of roles, with the ability to pitch multiple innings coupled with a mid-90s fastball and a deceptively calm demeanor in tight situations.
Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast.