Monday, April 09, 2007

Durbin Struggles in Tiger Debut

In his first start as a Tiger and first major league start since 2004, Chad Durbin allowed 6 runs and 9 hits in 4 2/3 innings in a 6-2 loss to the Orioles. He pitched two strong innings before allowing 4 runs in the third and 2 more in the 5th. This wasn't what the Tigers were hoping for in their quest to replace the injured Kenny Rogers but I think it's safe to say he'll get at least one more start before they try something else.

What happens if Durbin fails to improve in his next start or two? It sounded like plan B was Andrew Miller but that would likely depend on how well he is throwing for Lakeland. Ideally, he gets more than a couple of minor league starts. Other possibilities include Zach Miner who is currently pitching for Toledo and Wil Ledezma. Ledezma pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings today and is now unscored upon in 4 innings. He would seem like the best candidate except that I think they'd really like to leave him in the bullpen if they can. Hopefully Durbin postpones the fifth starter decision with a a stronger start next Saturday versus the Blue Jays.

Offensively, the Tigers continued their early season team hitting slump. Magglio Ordonez and Placido Polanco led the 7 hit attack with 2 hits apiece. Polanco, who is one of the few Tiger hitters off to a fast start, is now 11 for 26. Since he has no walks nor extra base hits, he has an usual batting line of .423/.423/.423. On the negative side, Brandon Inge went hitless again today and is now 0 for 20 with 8 strikeouts.

Tomorrow night, it will be Nate Robertson versus Jaret Wright in game two of the series.


  1. The bays are asleep because it's too cold for baseball. A season that starts April 1st and ends October 30th will always wreak havoc with cold weather sites and the teams who play there. Common sense moves I would make if I was the commissioner include: start the regular season April 15 and end it September 15. (It will still be a marathon, not a sprint. Does anyone notice all the empty seats while school is in session?.) Play the World Series in the daytime. (Casual fans would rather sneak away from work to watch a 3 pm starter than stay up past midnight to watch the end of a playoff game.) Instead baseball continues on its path to extinction. Maybe global warming will keep it alive for awhile. But 20 years from now only old men will be watching it.

  2. I would think really seriously about bringing up Miller. The last thing I would want the Tigers to do is over react to one start, but, Durbin wasn't very good and doesn't have a history of being very good at the major league level. And I don't want to see Miner again.

    Just think of the experience Miller would gain at the Major League level. It would put him light years ahead when joins the rotation for good in a year or two, and it's not like he doesn't have the stuff to compete at the major league level.

    I think they at least have to consider it.


  3. Leyland did say that the only two pitchers they considered to replace Rogers were Durbin and Miller. Therefore, I would expect Miller to be next unless he has some problems in the minors. They have certainly shown in the past that they are not afraid to throw young pitchers into the fire.



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