TigsTown News: Bazardo Down, Rapada Up

The Tigers made the first of what may be many significant moves to help an ailing bullpen, today; designating right-hander Yorman Bazardo for assignment. In his place, the team has recalled left-hander Clay Rapada to try and get critical outs late in games.

Bazardo came to the Tigers in exchange for outfielder Jeff Frazier last year, and had put together a fine season with Triple-A Toledo in 2007. Despite a poor spring -- and likely in part due to his lack of options -- Bazardo made the Tigers big club, but has gotten off to a miserable start, including a 24.00 ERA in three outings. The Tigers will now have ten days to determine Bazardo's fate. They will be able to trade him, release him, or try and pass him through waivers for an assignment to the minor leagues. With his struggles and lack of options, the Tigers may have a tough time finding a trade partner, particularly when it is clear he could be hitting the scrap heap in the near future. The decision to recall Clay Rapada gives Manager Jim Leyland his beloved second lefty in the bullpen, and also allays at least some lingering concerns over the health of Rapada's shoulder. Clay saw limited time this spring due to shoulder tendinitis, but has seen some success with Toledo, striking out seven in five innings of relief work. There are likely to be additional moves to help the Tigers bullpen in the coming days and weeks, with the expected arrival of Francisco Cruceta, and the potential for other call-ups from the minor leagues.

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