Remember Doug Fister’s pulled side muscle in April? Well, it’s back. Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Tigers have placed Fister on the 15-day DL, retroactive to yesterday, with a strained muscle in his left side. Fister started for the Tigers on Monday in Boston, and got hammered, allowing six runs on 11 hits in five innings. He didn’t have a win in the five starts he made since coming off the DL on May 7th, pitching to a 3.52 ERA with a 21:7 strikeout to walk ratio.
Where does this leave the Tigers? Well, when Fister went out for the first time, the Tigers turned to Adam Wilk. Wilk made three starts, and had an 8.18 ERA in 11 innings. To be fair, six of those runs came in two innings in his final start against the Mariners of all teams. Wilk also got shelled for 21 hits over those 11 innings, striking out seven and walking three. Since returning to AAA Toledo, Wilk has a 3.79 ERA in six starts, throwing 38 innings while striking out 27 and walking eight.
Based on what the rest of the rotation looks like in Toledo, Wilk looks like the best option. Prospects Andy Oliver and Jacob Turner continue to struggle, and while Wilk isn’t setting the world on fire, there’s probably less disaster potential with him than Oliver (43 walks in 52 2/3 innings) or Turner (only three AAA starts on the season after starting the year in the FSL).
An injury to Fister isn’t what the doctor ordered right now for the Tigers, with the relative struggles of Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello. At only 4.5 out in the weak AL Central, it’s not doom and gloom time for the Tigers, but making a comeback without Fister is more difficult than doing it with him.
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UPDATE: It’s been reported that Casey Crosby will be called up on Friday to make his major league debut against the Yankees. In nine starts this since at Toledo, Crosby has thrown 50 2/3 innings, with a 4.26 ERA, 57 strikeouts, and 26 walks. Seems like a solid enough move, considering that in his last start against Pawtucket, he allowed three runs over seven innings, walking one and striking out ten.