Paul Wezner, Senior Editor
Well, the first week certainly didn't ease any concerns about the effectiveness of the bullpen. Fernando Rodney struggled in back-to-back appearances, and Jose Mesa proved ineffective in his Tiger debut. Jason Grilli almost blew a huge lead against Toronto. However, you don't want to judge anyone on just an appearance or two. Should the aforementioned pitchers continue to struggle, it might be time to show some concern, however, these are effective big league pitchers, and have been for years. And the critiques of the bullpen also overlook the effectiveness of Todd Jones and Joel Zumaya, who have been very good and will be relied upon throughout the summer to hold onto leads down the stretch. It's not time to panic . . . yet.
Mark Anderson, Associate Editor, Minor Leagues
Really, I am not at all concerned about the bullpen. Yet, anyway. Given the inherent variability of relief arms from one season to the next, and even one day to the next within a season, it takes more than a week to really draw my attention. Am I frustrated? Certainly. Concerned? Not really. The Tigers have some very talented arms in that bullpen, most notably Fernando Rodney and Joel Zumaya. Both have battled control throughout their careers, and it should never be shocking if they go into funks for 4-5 appearances, on occasion. I expect several of the bullpen arms to turn in banner season's in 2007, and this first week has done nothing to disuade me from that belief.
Jason Avery, Associate Editor, Amateur Baseball
I'm not concerned about it because every bullpen runs into a bad stretch at some point during the season. It just so happens that the Tigers' pen came out of the gates slowly, and with the horrid weather the Tigers have played in, that certainly has played a factor (gripping the ball, fly balls that should be caught haven't due to extreme wind, etc.). Todd Jones has done a nice job, and Rodney turned in a scoreless outing yesterday before Pudge Rodriguez won the game in the ninth. Everything tends to get magnified a little more with it being the start of the season, so I'm not concerned right now. However, if the lack of performance continues when the weather gets warmer, then I'll be concerned.
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