Confident Schlereth inspiring confidence

Confident Schlereth inspiring confidence

CLEVELAND -- The Tigers weren't planning on needing their bullpen for many outs on Thursday with Justin Verlander on the mound, so manager Jim Leyland went a day knowing that he could give lefty Daniel Schlereth some rest. But it's hard to tell what kind of shape the bullpen would have been in without Schlereth the last couple of nights.

Combine his two scoreless innings on Tuesday with his 1 2/3 scoreless on Wednesday, and Schlereth has tossed eight scoreless frames, allowing just three hits, since the Tigers called him up nearly two weeks ago. He has walked three and struck out seven in that span.

Leyland said that Schlereth's improvement is a matter of command, both with his curveball and his fastball. Though Schlereth said upon his return that his numbers were a product of the hitters he faced at Triple-A Toledo, Leyland said that he worked on his stuff while he was down there rather than simply looking for easy outs.

"He's a more confident pitcher right now," Leyland said.

The Tigers, in turn, are becoming increasingly confident in him.