"I'm going to stay with 13 pitchers [on the staff] for a period of time," manager Jim Leyland said on Wednesday.
That period could include Sunday, when the Tigers need an extra starter rather than use Rick Porcello on short rest. Whether it's Alfredo Figaro making the assignment, one of the Tigers' other long relievers or a callup from Triple-A Toledo, they'll need somebody not currently in the rotation. That leaves the Tigers needing that extra arm.
Leyland was no closer to a decision on that front on Thursday morning. How the bullpen use plays out over the next couple of days could be the determining factor whether to go with the bullpen or potentially give a quick callup to Armando Galarraga, whose next scheduled start for Triple-A Toledo falls on Sunday.
For now, it means the Tigers' bench is short one position. The impact of that was apparent Thursday. With Ryan Raburn having been optioned out Wednesday morning, the Tigers had one less right-handed bat on the bench. Thus, rookie Brennan Boesch, a left-handed hitter, made his first start on Thursday against a left-handed starting pitcher -- Yankees ace CC Sabathia, no less.