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Detroit's bullpen carrying heavy workload

Detroit's bullpen carrying heavy workload

CLEVELAND -- The Tigers had three relievers among the American League's top 12 in appearances this season entering Saturday. Two of them, Joba Chamberlain and Al Alburquerque, have injury histories that include Tommy John surgery. The other, Ian Krol, is in his first full Major League season.

With Chamberlain, at least, there's also a history of heavy workloads, and some thoughts on how to conserve wear and tear on his right arm.

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"You try to limit what you do [warming up]," said Chamberlain, whose 34 appearances ranked just outside the AL's top 10. "If you're feeling good, maybe you stop right there, try to take the least stressful pitches you can to get ready.

"Obviously we have a lot of guys with some appearances, which means we're getting in games and keeping the routine going. It's just one of those things where you have to start listening to your body as you get closer to the All-Star break, and after that, just make sure you're doing what you need to do to get ready, but not overdoing it. Sometimes towards the end of the year, less is more for us."

Chamberlain appeared in 73 games with the Yankees in 2010, his last full healthy season. He made just 27 appearances the next season, then underwent Tommy John surgery.

"Al and I have done it," he said. "We've been in the situation. Krol being a young kid, getting his first full year in, it's one of those things where you have to tell him, 'Hey, if your [arm is] barking a little bit, don't even play catch.'"

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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