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Bell summoned to fortify Tigers' bullpen

MLB.com @beckjason

CLEVELAND -- The Tigers, in need of an extra pitcher after using four relievers Wednesday following Jordan Zimmermann's first-inning injury, have called up left-hander Chad Bell from Triple-A Toledo.

Bell, who had been scheduled to start the Mud Hens' home opener Thursday night, will instead serve as a fresh arm in the Tigers' bullpen for Thursday's series finale against the Indians at Progressive Field. He fills the roster spot opened when Mikie Mahtook was optioned to Toledo following Wednesday's 5-1 loss.

CLEVELAND -- The Tigers, in need of an extra pitcher after using four relievers Wednesday following Jordan Zimmermann's first-inning injury, have called up left-hander Chad Bell from Triple-A Toledo.

Bell, who had been scheduled to start the Mud Hens' home opener Thursday night, will instead serve as a fresh arm in the Tigers' bullpen for Thursday's series finale against the Indians at Progressive Field. He fills the roster spot opened when Mikie Mahtook was optioned to Toledo following Wednesday's 5-1 loss.

Bell was a bullpen candidate for most of Spring Training, but he was slowed by a back injury. He opened the season in the Mud Hens' rotation and tossed 3 1/3 innings of one-run ball with five strikeouts on Saturday at Louisville. Signed as a Minor League free agent before last season, the 29-year-old lefty made 28 appearances for Detroit last year, posting an 0-3 record with a 6.93 ERA while striking out 57 batters over 61 innings.

Bell's promotion means the Tigers will have three left-handers in their eight-man bullpen after opening the season with one. Daniel Norris moved out of the rotation to join Daniel Stumpf in the lefty relief corps last weekend.

Video: DET@CLE: Zimmermann exits after being hit with liner

How long Detroit opts to go with eight relievers remains to be seen. Zimmermann, who suffered a right jaw contusion after being hit by a line drive, is expected to make his next start on Tuesday against the Orioles. The Tigers return home for a three-game series with the Yankees this weekend, then have an off-day Monday.

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

Detroit Tigers, Chad Bell