TigsTown Roundtable: The 5th Starter

Ready to talk Tigers? Want to hear the opinion of the TigsTown staff on some of the hot button topics of the offseason? Welcome to the TigsTown Roundtable! This week's question: How many more chances would you give Chad Durbin? If he fails, who do you turn to next?

Paul Wezner, Senior Editor
As much as you want to give a guy every opportunity to prove himself, I think Chad Durbin is quickly running out of chances. Durbin has not looked particularly impressive in either start so far, and the bottom line is that with the Tigers expecting to battle for the AL Central crown with some very stiff competition, they simply cannot be heading into a game knowing that they're going to need a huge offensive showing to have any shot at winning. If Durbin can't turn it around in the next couple starts, my guess is they'll begin to look elsewhere. And while fans are clamoring to see Andrew Miller, my guess is the organization wants to see him work a bit more in the minors first before bringing him back to Detroit, leaving the Tigers to be looking at either Wil Ledezma from the 'pen, or Zach Miner or Virgil Vasquez from Toledo.

Mark Anderson, Associate Editor, Minor Leagues
The Tigers are in a bit of a quandry with Durbin. They've raved about his abilities the last 6 months, and tried to exude their confidence in him; but I think its painfully obvious to all involved that he just doesn't have the ability to consistently get Major League hitters out. I have to believe the leash on him is short, as the Tigers can't afford to give away every fifth game. I think Durbin gets one, maybe two, more starts to show something of substance, and then the Tigers are going to be trying other options. As much as it pains me to say, I think Andrew Miller is one of the favorites for the slot, and he could be in Detroit for good by the end of May. Jordan Tata's injury, and Wil Ledezma's success in the pen put a bit of a crimp in the backup plans of the organization. There is a slim chance Zach Miner could get another shot, but Jim Leyland has always maintained that he'll take talent over anything else; and Andrew Miller is likely the most talented option.

Jason Avery, Associate Editor, Amateur Baseball
I think Durbin going to get a couple of more starts, simply because the Tigers don't have much in the way of options. If you move Wilfredo Ledezma to the rotation, that leaves Bobby Seay as the lone lefty in the bullpen, so that's not a realistic move. If you look in the minor leagues, there isn't much after Andrew Miller. Zach Miner has been terrible at Toledo, and Jordan Tata is on the disabled list with a shoulder problem. The Tigers want Miller to get more seasoning before bringing him up, but at the same time, the Tigers may not have a choice if Durbin continues to pitch poorly. Durbin will definitely be on a short leash, and who knows, maybe Miller will be the 2007 version of Francisco Liriano, but this is an issue that bears close watching.

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