The Detroit Tigers are “content with their current level of offensive production,” and have turned their attention to finding some starting pitching help, FOX’s Jon Paul Morosi reported Thursday. According to Morosi, the Tigers are not actively pursuing Mets shortstop Jose Reyes, who has six hits in two games against Detroit and is batting .349.
Reyes’ incredible performance this season may have taken him out of the Tigers’ price range anyway, even if the Mets’ financial struggles force them to unload him. New York, heading into Thursday’s game at Comerica Park, was back within five games in the wild-card race, so Reyes might not even be on the trade block.
Jim Leyland announced prior to Thursday’s game that rookie Charlie Furbush would replace Phil Coke in the Tigers’ rotation. Coke fell to 1-8 Wednesday, when he gave up seven earned runs in four-plus innings against the Mets.
But Coke’s been far from the only problem for the Tigers. Rick Porcello was bashed by the Mets Tuesday, sending his ERA over the 5.00 mark, while Brad Penny’s fallen under .500 at 5-6. Even Max Scherzer, who’s racked up nine wins, has struggled to stay consistent.
Only Justin Verlander, who has to be the AL Cy Young favorite right now, has been reliable on a regular basis. Heading into Thursday’s start, Verlander was 10-3 with a sparking 2.38 ERA. He definitely needs some help — Furbush will get a crack at providing some, and the Tigers may yet call up prospect Jacob Turner.
It’s becoming more and more obvious, though, that the Tigers will have to look outside the organization for help. Morosi speculates that Houston left-hander Wandy Rodriguez may become available in July. The cash-strapped Dodgers may also look to move lefty Hiroki Kuroda, whose on the last year of his deal. Righties like the Nationals’ Jason Marquis could also hit the market, depending on how the standings shake out over the next month.
Detroit has to hope that Verlander and company can keep the team afloat until then.