The Detroit Tigers bullpen has come around the last couple of weeks especially during their 10 game road winning streak. That being said the bullpen has been questionable so far this season and when they traded Doug Fister during the off-season they weakened it even more by moving Drew Smyly into a starting pitching role. During Anibal Sanchez‘s stint on the disabled list Robbie Ray’s two starts were great.
The Tigers should put Robbie Ray in the bullpen either as the long relief guy or a left-handed specialist. This would improve their bullpen by removing one of the players who are not getting the job done. Players like Phil Coke whose inconsistent performances at the start of the season nearly cost the team games. Luke Putkonen and Jose Ortego have had stints with the team this season but have failed to secure a spot on the active roster. Robbie Ray could a gap in the sixth and seventh innings while helping to add bullpen depth. The only benefit to keeping Robbie Ray in the minors would be the opportunity for him to start on a consistent basis.
I believe that Robbie Ray could benefit more from pitching in the bullpen just like Smyly was for the last couple of years. This becomes even more important if during the off-season they fail to get a deal done with Max Scherzer who is pitching like the Cy Young award winner he is. This would allow Ray to learn the batters in the majors so when he does become a starting pitcher in the majors he will have previous knowledge to lean on. The Tigers have had the best starting pitching in the majors for the last couple of years and while I would rather keep Max Scherzer if he does leave Robbie Ray has proven to so far be a capable replacement.
The Detroit Tigers if they do put him in the bullpen could be the move that puts them over the top and finally ends their 30 year drought of World Series Titles. It has been a great start for the Tigers this year and could have a great ending if they get their bullpen situation under control. I believe if they can they could just have a parade down Woodward celebrating a World Series title.