Tigers waiting on definitive roles for bullpen

Tigers waiting on definitive roles for bullpen

OAKLAND -- There will be a day, Jim Leyland believes, when the Tigers' bullpen will have roles sorted out for its relievers. That day has not been any of the team's 11 games thus far, and that day was not Sunday.

For now, there's "no sense of organization" or "order" in the bullpen, Leyland said.

The causes: performance, and reliever-heavy games like Friday's 12-inning loss and Saturday's win, in which Justin Verlander had several lengthy innings that restricted the workhorse to six frames total.

"In fairness to the guys, they're in here, they're in there, they're in here, they're in there," Leyland said. "We don't really have anything etched in stone because we're still searching. But that'll happen."

Three relievers are unavailable Sunday: Joaquin Benoit (rest), Octavio Dotel (elbow inflammation) and Drew Smyly (rest). So that means Detroit has four available arms in the bullpen: Darin Downs, Phil Coke, Al Alburquerque and Rick Porcello.

Leyland is as much managing the bullpen as evaluating it.

"We're walking too many guys out of the bullpen," Leyland said. "We'll get in some sense of order here before long. One thing about it, they're all getting to pitch, see if they can get some outs. They're all getting their opportunities to get some outs for us, which we said they would coming out of Spring Training."

Willie Bans is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.