Toledo MLN: Oliver Moves to the Bullpen

The Tigers are going to try Oliver in the bullpen

After a week of winning, the Mud Hens have slumped back into a losing rut with series against the Indianapolis Indians, Columbus Clippers, and the Louisville Bats. However, the big news of the week was the move of a top arm from the rotation to the bullpen.

Half of the week was spent at home, and the other on the road, but it didn't seem to matter where they played, Toledo couldn't pull it together for more than one win.

Close unfortunately only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades because the Mud Hens had a few games within a run of their opponent, but the other handful of games were unquestionably distant.

Oliver to the Pen

Andrew Oliver had been on the disabled list since just before the All-Star break due to fatigue, and when he returned this past week, he found himself in a new spot; the bullpen.

Oliver was 4-9 with a 5.18 ERA as a starter in the first half of the season, but continued to battle control issues, with 74 walks in 97 1/3 innings. Despite having made his big league debut in 2010, the control problems have continually been an issue, with his ability to command his pitches coming and going over time.

On Friday, he pitched out of the bullpen for the first time since the Tigers drafted him. He allowed four hits and two walks along with one run over 1 1/3 innings of work. But the Tigers are going to leave him in the bullpen for the remainder of the season to see if the different approach and mentality will help him harness his impressive repertoire.

Tigers' general manager Dave Dombrowski confirmed the move would be for the remainder of the year with MLive's Chris Iott on Sunday.

Common denominator

It seems like an easy equation, but the Toledo Mud Hens still struggle to get it right. If the pitching is on-point, Toledo gets within a run from their opponent, like they did against the Indianapolis Indians in their series finale on Monday.

Adam Wilk, the pitcher on the mound, threw seven innings of solid baseball, allowing four hits and fanning seven.

The Mud Hens provided some offensive production to tie the game up in the fifth, but if all went right, they would have won the game — a double off the bat of Brandon Boggs did them in.

In games that they are blown away, the Mud Hens pitchers usually never make it through the fourth inning.

Commanding Columbus

The Mud Hens' only win came against Columbus on Wednesday in the first game of their double header, and they followed it with a one run loss in game two, however their momentum did not carry over into the rest of the series.

Struggling in the rest of the road series, Toledo fells to the Clippers on Thursday and Friday by considerable deficits — 16-2 and 13-2 respectively.

On Thursday, starting pitcher Thad Weber didn't make it out of the second inning after he ran into trouble giving up seven runs on six hits. The wound grew bigger as the bullpen couldn't stop the damage seven additional run on 10 hits in five innings.

Friday the Hens were stuck in the same boat and with just two runs that couldn't amount to the 13 posted by Columbus.

Sellout crowds

Despite the Mud Hens inconsistencies, Fifth-Third Field has managed to sellout multiple games.

Their 2-1 finale loss to Indianapolis, on the upside, was their fourth consecutive sellout game. They also sold out on Saturday, which was also BGSU night at Fifth-Third Field. The Falcons helped the Stadium max out at 11,500.

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