Tigers looking for bullpen help

A day after Tigers manager Jim Leyland shot down any notion of Rick Porcello on the trading block, he admitted the Tigers have placed a priority on relief help as they head towards the July 31 trading deadline.

“We would like to shore up our bullpen with maybe a little more of a veteran guy or something, if he’s out there,” Leyland said Saturday afternoon. “I don’t know if they are out there or not. I’ll leave it at that. …

“I’m not saying it has to be a veteran, veteran reliever. Somebody that’s maybe had a little more experience. We aren’t going to lie about it. We’d like to have that. It’s pretty tough to have as many kids as we have down there now.”

Leyland comments came a day after he had to bring in closer Jose Valverde to finish out a 7-3 win over the Twins. Ryan Perry began the ninth inning with a 7-2 lead but gave up singles to both batters he faced, Michael Cuddyer and Delmon Young. That brought out Leyland to make a change, and brought out some frustration after the game.

“If you have a five-run lead in the ninth inning and you have to use your closer time after time, your closer will be shot,” Leyland said Friday night. “You just can’t do it. If we don’t have somebody down there that can hold a five-run lead in the ninth inning besides the closer, then we’re in trouble.”

Perry was supposed to be that guy and a big addition when the Tigers activated him from the disabled list last weekend. He has made four appearances since then with mixed results, the last two of them rather rough.

“This is the Major Leagues and stuff happens fast up here,” Leyland said. “I thought it was a perfect setting for Perry. He threw nothing but fastballs and paid the price and didn’t have good command.”

– Jason Beck/Alex DiFilippo

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