NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Don't rule out the Tigers from adding a lefty reliever after all. If they do, though, it'll most likely be a secondary reliever to complement Phil Coke, not replace or push him.
It sounds like a minor move, but it takes on a little more importance after the Tigers non-tendered Daniel Schlereth on Friday. Duane Below and eventually Darin Downs filled the role down the stretch, but the Tigers went with Coke as their lone lefty for the postseason. Al Alburquerque and his strikeout slider was judged as a good enough pitch that he could be used in traditional lefty situations.
That's probably not the way the Tigers would want to leave Spring Training if they could help it, especially to watch Alburquerque's early workload.
"We're very happy with Coke as one of our left-handed relievers, and we have some other guys that are in the mix for the No. 2 spot," team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski said. "If we said to ourselves, 'This guy is better than what we have,' would we do that? Sure. Is it something that we're going to go out and sign a big-name free-agent player to do that? The answer is no. We're looking for things to do, and that's one area."