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Dotel rejoins Tigers bullpen after elbow scare

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SEATTLE -- Octavio Dotel is back in the Tigers bullpen after sitting out the weekend games in Oakland with elbow soreness.

"He's ready to pitch," manager Jim Leyland said after Tuesday's win over the Mariners. "I'll be getting him in there soon."

A pregame throwing session went well enough that Dotel was available Tuesday night. Leyland opted to give him another day to rest, going to Al Alburquerque for the eighth inning with a 6-2 lead. With just six outs for the bullpen to cover after Doug Fister's strong outing, and Rick Porcello available out of the bullpen Tuesday, Leyland could afford to give Dotel the night off.

At this point, simply avoiding a stint on the disabled list with Dotel is a major relief for the Tigers, as they go into the late innings with a bullpen by committee.

Dotel hasn't pitched since Friday's West Coast trip opener in Oakland, when he retired two batters on just five pitches in the ninth inning and didn't return for the 10th.

Dotel's return comes as Porcello returns to the rotation. He'll begin preparing Wednesday for his next scheduled start this weekend against the Angels.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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