DETROIT -- Sometimes a rainout is the best thing that can happen for a struggling team, but manager Jim Leyland doesn't believe in momentum. He does believe, though, in Duane Below being a big part of his bullpen. Thanks to Monday's rainout, he has Below back.
It takes a little maneuvering, and it assumes a healthy Doug Fister coming out of his rehab start Wednesday night at Triple-A Toledo, but not playing Monday actually was a big step in getting the Tigers' rotation back to normal. With Thursday's off-day, the Tigers now won't need a fifth starter until next Monday or Tuesday in Seattle. They can skip Below because Rick Porcello can move up in the order and pitch on his normal four days' rest.
If Fister is fine Wednesday, his next turn would be Monday, and the Tigers are counting on that outing taking place in Seattle.
Add in that the Royals had four left-handed hitters in their starting lineup Tuesday, including the dangerous Alex Gordon, Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas, and Below's return to relief is a good thing for Leyland, whose only other lefty reliever is Phil Coke.
"That helps," Leyland said. "We'll get our bullpen back in sync a little bit very shortly."
Leyland will attend Fister's rehab start. Asked what he needs to see from Fister, Leyland indicated he expects some rust, but he isn't overly concerned about it.
"I just want to see what the delivery looks like, the movement looks like, the command looks like," Leyland said. "What I'm hoping happens is that he gets through the game and that he feels fine."