Leyland concerned with 'pen's workload

Leyland concerned with 'pen's workload

ARLINGTON -- Tigers manager Jim Leyland said "it's good and bad" that the bullpen has had such a strong start to the season.

Detroit relievers entered Friday's game with a combined 5-2 record and a 2.47 ERA in 54 2/3 innings. That's the good news. The bad news is the 'pen is going better than three innings per game.

In Thursday's 5-4 victory over the Angels, starter Justin Verlander needed 125 pitches to get through five innings. That forced the bullpen into four innings of work. Ryan Perry, Phil Coke, Joel Zumaya and Jose Valverde did a magnificent job holding the lead, but it's the long haul that concerns Leyland.

"We're not going to be able to use the bullpen the way we have been all season long," Leyland said. "Somebody is going to get hurt."

Leyland is so troubled by the overuse of the bullpen that he brought the subject up on his own Friday after fielding several other questions on various topics.

"What's going on is going to spell disaster for the bullpen," Leyland said. "Someone [a starting pitcher] is going to have to step up and give you quality innings."