DETROIT -- The Tigers got a major bump for their bullpen on Tuesday when they activated right-hander Octavio Dotel from the 15-day disabled list. Detroit optioned Thad Weber back to Triple-A Toledo to make room on the roster.
Dotel hasn't pitched in a game in two weeks, but didn't go on the DL until last week. What was hoped to be minor shoulder soreness lingered until the Tigers couldn't go a man short in the bullpen any longer. Jose Ortega and Luis Marte ended up in late-innings situations and struggled. Brayan Villarreal later stepped up and had an impressive stretch as the right-hander to carry leads to Joaquin Benoit.
Detroit's late-inning relief corps was briefly intact with Dotel and Phil Coke carrying leads to Benoit and then to closer Jose Valverde. A sore right wrist, however, sidelined Valverde while warming up Tuesday night.
Dotel returns just in time to face his former club. He won a World Series title with the Cardinals last fall.
Dotel owns a 1-2 record and a 4.42 ERA in 21 appearances this season with the Tigers, his 13th Major League team. Right-handed hitters are batting .184 (9-for-49) against him, with two home runs and 20 strikeouts.