TigsTown Roundtable: Reliever Needed?

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: Do the Tigers need another reliever for the stretch run?

Paul Wezner, Executive Editor
At the risk of echoing the sentiments of my colleagues, whether or not the Tigers need another arm all comes down to the health and beleived effectiveness of Joel Zumaya and Fernando Rodney. If the Tigers are confident both of their setup men will be able to return to form, there's no need for an additional arm. But if there is significant doubt, the Tigers should be actively looking to add a reliable setup man to bridge the gap between middle relief and Todd Jones in the ninth inning. Worst case scenario; the Tigers sacrifice a prospect and have three reliable setup men heading into the stretch run. So, if the Tigers are anything less than 100% confident, they should be exploring every avenue to add a setup man in a final attempt to stabilize the 'pen.

Mark Anderson, Managing Editor
Whether the Tigers need another reliever depends entirely on the status of last year's big guns; Joel Zumaya and Fernando Rodney. Reports indicate Rodney is close to a return to the mound, but he'll need to prove effective before the August 31st waiver deadline. Zumaya has begun throwing again, which is a positive sign, but until he's back pumping heat at AL hitters, there must be some skepticism here. If these two are able to give the front office and Jim Leyland the "warm fuzzies" about their ability to come back strong and effective, then the Tigers should be in good shape. Despite an up and down season from many of the bullpen stallwarts, many of the now critical cogs are rounding into form. Zach Miner, Bobby Seay, Macay McBride, Todd Jones, Jose Capellan, etc., are all starting to pitch well and picking up the slack for the departed Rodney and Zumaya. This bullpen has the potential to be nearly as dominant as last year's crew. The Tigers need to wait until the last possible minute to pull the trigger on a deal, as there is no sense in doing something rash when there is still the potential for two key contributors to return in full health.

Jason Avery, Associate Editor, Amateur Baseball
Even though Dave Dombrowski has made trades for Jose Capellan and Macay McBride, and the bullpen has pitched better of late, I think the Tigers will make another move to bolster their relief corps. Why? There is still plenty of uncertainty as to how effective Joel Zumaya and Fernando Rodney will be when they return from the disabled list. If the Tigers stand pat, they are putting all of their eggs in one basket and banking that Zumaya and Rodney will be fine when they return, and that's a risk I wouldn't take. Obviously, whether or not the Tigers make any deal depends on what the price is, but I think the Tigers will add another arm as an insurance policy, and if Zumaya and Rodney do return to form, what was a weakness becomes a strength for the most important part of the season.

Have your own opinion on the issue? Ready to talk about it? State your opinion on the Detroit Tigers Open Message Board and go head to head with the experts!


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