Detroit Tigers: Kyle Ryan to Make Emergency Start in Place of Simon


With Alfredo Simon hitting the bereavement list, the Detroit Tigers will have to turn to Kyle Ryan for Wednesday’s start against the Oakland Athletics.

Late Tuesday night (or, rather, early Wednesday morning) after the Detroit Tigers defeated the Oakland Athletics 1-0, the Tigers announced that Alfredo Simon would be placed on the bereavement list. James Schmehl has the story on MLive.

"Tigers manager Brad Ausmus indicated after Tuesday’s game that Simon was called away due to tend to his father and didn’t know when he would return."

Kyle Ryan is now listed as the probable starter for Wednesday afternoon’s series finale in Oakland, but the Tigers remain in a tricky spot. There is a chance that Ryan won’t be able to get to the ballpark in time for the 12:35 (Pacific Time) first pitch.

"Wednesday’s game is scheduled for 12:35 p.m. in Oakland and there’s a slight possibility Ryan won’t be with the team before first pitch…If Ryan is unable to start Wednesday’s game, the Tigers will likely resort to using a bullpen start. Possible relief candidates who could be asked to start include left-handed relievers Blaine Hardy, Tom Gorzelanny and right-hander Alex Wilson."

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I’m guessing Ryan gets there just fine — baseball teams have the sort of resources required to make the logistics work out — but even if he does the Tigers should probably plan on using him in a shorter stint. Ryan, who was in contention for a bullpen spot during spring training, was struggling as a starter in Toledo and isn’t someone you want to rely on to turn a big league lineup over two or three times.

The Detroit Tigers would be better off if they went into the game planning on using Ryan, Wilson, and Gorzelanny (in that order to go lefty-righty-lefty) for two or three innings each (and no more than once through the lineup for any of them). It’s not an ideal situation — dipping heavily into an already weak bullpen — but saving an overmatched starter from suffering the times through the order penalty would be the right thing to do.

With Buck Farmer already scheduled to start on Thursday against the Los Angeles Angles, the Tigers will be turning to rookie starters in back-to-back games. Everyone in the bullpen will need to be ready for extended work.

UPDATE 1:03 pm: The Tigers have released the lineup for today, and Alex Wilson has been named the starting pitcher.

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