Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland has made a decision. He will use Eddie Bonine as his fifth starter for the rest of the season, passing over ineffective Nate Robertson and struggling Armando Galarraga. While this may not seem all that important, but this decision could very well make or break the 2009 Tigers season. Leyland says Bonine is the fifth starter for the rest of the year, and he will get three starts over the final 12 games of the year.
This move is very important for the Tigers season who must win their division to get into the playoffs. With 12 games to go the Tigers have a 4.5 game lead but will play the team they lead by those 4.5 games, the Minnesota Twins, six times. That sets the stage for an epic collapse by this team, who have collapsed in the second half of the season for the past three years.
While Leyland’s job is not likely in jeopardy this decision may determine the fate of Tigers Gm Dave Dombrowski. Dave made a deal at the trade deadline to acquire pitcher Jarrod Washburn, which was supposed to be the deal that secured the Tigers division title. So far that trade has not worked, and this team is burdened with many large contracts of Dombrowski’s doing.
If the Tiger fail to win their division, and miss the playoffs for the third year in a row, owner Mike Illitch may have to look for a new head man to run his baseball team. Hopefully Bonine can help this team hold off the Twins, and send them to the playoffs to face the New York Yankees.